Flooding in Lofts dampens spirits
Water damage wrecks rooms
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 22:08
Waterlogged books and clothes are not what many students would expect to worry about on their first day of classes.
But for 16 students, this was a reality.
Flooding caused by a burst pipe in Redstone Lofts displaced 16 students residing in the newly built apartments Aug. 22.
A supply line that goes into the washing machine from an apartment on floor five burst inside the wall and followed a chase way straight down, flooding the fifth floor room and the rooms directly below it, said Rick McMillan, an employee of the construction company G.W. Savage.
“There was high water damage all the way into the basement,” McMillan said. “Water also spread across the floor, but mostly went straight down.”
McMillan explained that water finds the weakest point and leaks downward, which is why there was little damage done to the dorms directly adjacent to the burst pipe.
“We have drying equipment out, but ceilings were damaged and we will have to remove all the cabinets to ensure the wall behind them is completely dry,” he said.
The damage is being fixed now, but the incident was isolated to only a few rooms, said Erin Calig, manager of the north building of Redstone Lofts.
“A pipe broke; it wasn’t that big of a deal,” Calig said.
Junior Rachel Narkewicz and senior Allie Coppola have a different take on the situation.
Their brand-new apartment was piled high with soaking boxes of clothes, a TV and furniture. There was a two-inch line of stripped paint along the wall that displayed the exact height of water that sat throughout their kitchen, living room and bedrooms.
“I was asleep and heard some water running,” Coppola said. “I thought someone was in the kitchen, so I walked in and stepped right into a puddle of water.”
Coppola said that she and her housemates immediately called 911, the fire department and Redstone Lofts officials, but it took about 45 minutes for someone to respond to them.
“We just wanted them to turn off the water,” Narkewicz said. “Someone in the building should have known how to do that.”
“We moved in early to not be stressed at the beginning of the school year,” she said.
Junior Anthony Jordick, whose apartment on the second floor flooded, said none of his possessions were damaged and only his clothes got wet, but Redstone Lofts officials still requested that he move out.
“I understood why they did it, but it was very frustrating,” Jordick said.
The students were moved to dorms on campus because there were no other options, Calig said. It was move-in weekend and all the hotels in Burlington were full.
Currently living in Jeanne Mance Hall with one housemate, Jordick said he hasn’t heard much from Redstone Lofts about when he will be moving back into his apartment, but he hopes that it will be soon.
“We had AC, our own kitchen, a washer and a dryer,” he said. “I wasn’t equipped to move back into a dorm room — it’s horribly inconvenient.”
Coppola, Narkewicz and their housemates ended up in a quad in Harris/Millis. Coppola said after the initial shock of what happened, she is pretty satisfied with how Redstone Lofts handled the situation.
“After we mentioned that we don’t have a kitchen anymore, they gave us 300 meal points,” Coppola said. “It was really nice and we didn’t expect that.”
Coppola said she and her housemates were also surprised that the Redstone Lofts officials helped them move all of their boxes out and get settled in their temporary rooms.
Now all the students can do is wait to hear when they will be allowed to move back in.
“They initially said about 10 days, but haven’t given us any updates since, which is probably smart on their part, but we are just really anxious,” Coppola said. “I hope they stick to their deadline.”