Garrett-Strong Flood

Custodian Dave Rodrick was one of 12 Facility Services technicians who responded to help clean up the flooding in Garrett-Strong. The flooding resulted from frozen pipes leading to the fire sprinkler system.

A water main pipe broke near the east entryway on the second floor of the Garrett-Strong Science Building Feb. 17.

Dan Haslag, assistant vice president of Facility Services, said a water main tied to the fire sprinkler systems near the rear entryway of the building froze from recent extreme temperatures and burst at roughly 3:15 p.m. He said he hoped that the building would be clean by the evening.

Haslag said as soon as Facility Services was alerted about the flooding, 12 technicians rushed to the building with shop-vacs to clean up the water that had collected on the first and second floors of the building.

“A situation like that, it doesn’t matter what area of Facility Services they work in — they are great at pitching in and doing whatever it takes to continue,” Haslag said.

He noted that the extreme temperatures have taken a toll on the plumbing systems on campus.

Haslag said there was a pipe freeze in J. W. Jones Student Union Feb. 15 near the docking area, but it was fixed that same day.

“Our most volatile seems to be our fire sprinkler systems and areas near entrances,” Haslag said.

After the extreme cold conditions lighten up, Facility Services will look to find ways to prevent pipe freezes from happening. Haslag said he was not sure what the solution would be at this time.

Department of Natural Sciences Chair Mark Corson said no classes were disturbed because of the flooding. He said one SI session was relocated so the original classroom could be cleaned.

The University Police Department posted on its Twitter page that the east entry will be closed until tomorrow.

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