A pipe burst in the women’s bathroom on the third floor of Beardslee dorm in Lower Cents on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. All students were evacuated from their dorms, and some students stayed at Comfort Suites Hotel, while others opted to stay with friends.(Jordan Wolman/B&W Staff)

Flooding in Beardslee dorm evacuates residents

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A pipe burst in the women’s bathroom on the third floor of Beardslee dorm in Lower Cents Wednesday night, causing flooding in the dorm. The building was evacuated as water began to penetrate the ceiling.

LUPD arrived at the scene around 9:30 p.m., but a dispatcher said it was determined to be a residential service issue.

Brooke Dunoff, ‘23, a third floor Beardslee dorm resident, said she called emergency maintenance.

“I go to the bathroom to see what’s going on, and there is just water gushing everywhere,” Dunoff said.

She said within the next hour, there was a few inches of water on the floor and described it as a “wet mess.”

Thomas Perillo, ‘22, a Gryphon for the first and second floor Beardslee dorm at Lower Cents, said water was leaking from the third floor all the way to the ground floor.

Perillo said he is not aware of any damages, but suspects there is water in many of the students’ rooms.

“My shoes, my computer, my Xbox are all left in my room,” said Aedan Lorfink, ‘23. “It’s been flooding for almost two hours now.”

Multiple residents said they were advised to reach out to friends and find other sleeping arrangements.

“Right now, I’m trying to find a place to sleep, because it ain’t here,” Dunoff said.

**Update: Students were given the option to stay at Comfort Suites Hotel for the night. Doris Barker, the manager of Comfort Suites, said she was contacted by Lehigh to provide accommodations for the Beardslee residents.

Barker said Comfort Suites set up a direct bill with the university, and “Lehigh will be billed when the stay is over.”

She said 16 rooms were occupied last night, and there are normally two people per room.

Ozzie Breiner, the director of Housing Services, said “more than half of the nearly 50 students who live in Beardslee opted to stay at the Comfort Suites, while the remainder opted to stay on campus with friends,” in an email sent out to all residents of Beardslee the next day.

Breiner said in the email the problem with the pipe in the dorm was addressed by a restoration company, and the Environmental Health and Safety staff will monitor Beardslee for any safety issues. Beardslee dorm is currently safe to enter, Breiner said in the email.

However, the presence of dehumidifiers and blowers will occupy the dorm until Friday morning, Breiner said in the email. To remedy any distractions with noise, Housing Services is extending the offer for students to stay at Comfort Suites an additional day, Breiner said in the email. Students must inform Housing Services by 3:30 p.m. today.

The email also stated that “any residents who need assistance with academic issues, such as missed classes or extensions on an assignment, should stop by Williams 390.”

Breiner said in the email that everything should be completely resolved by Friday afternoon.

Holly Santero, ’21, and David Owolabi, ’20, are contributors to this article. 

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