Sprinkler malfunction causes West McDonel Hall flooding
A malfunctioning sprinkler head on the fourth floor of West McDonel Hall caused flooding Wednesday night.
The sprinkler head was inside of a storage room and the flooding began at approximately 9:30 p.m., MSU spokesman Jason Cody said.
Residence Education and Housing Services Associate Director for Facilities Paul Manson said Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities and the fire department initially responded to the malfunctioning sprinkler. Manson said REHS responded within 15 minutes. The cleanup crew was at McDonel Hall until 2 a.m., a contractor hired to assist with cleanup stayed until 4 a.m. and REHS returned at approximately 6:30 a.m.
“We got the students settled back in and cleaning up their rooms by about midnight last night, that means it went pretty well,” Manson said.
Manson said a small amount of water reached the first floor through an electrical conduit and is currently being collected by a bucket.
“(The water) affected 12 student rooms, the elevator lobby and two of our storage rooms, and affected our two elevators — obviously in the same area,” Manson said.
Manson said the West McDonel Hall elevators had to be shut down and a safety check was performed.
“We called in our elevator mechanic about midnight last night to make sure they were up and running, and they were safe to operate,” Manson said. “There was no damage to them, it was just precautionary.”
Manson said REHS visited with everyone on the fourth floor and had students fill out paperwork to document what had been damaged, and the cost of damages to student property is still being calculated.
“I just came home to a lot of water in our hallway and in our room a little bit, it was like standing in a little puddle,” chemistry sophomore Clairissa Barksdale said.
Barksdale lives on the fourth floor of West McDonel Hall.
“They were giving us little sheets and towel packets to sop up the water a little bit, some people lost their carpets and rugs and stuff,” Barksdale said.
Barksdale said some residents might have suffered damage to electronics, but she is unsure. Cody said any student property damaged by the flooding will be replaced by MSU.
Pre-nursing freshman Emma Frame lives on the third floor of West McDonel, directly underneath the flooded hallway.
“I just know the whole fourth floor was flooded, and then it started coming through here, and when it started coming through here there were huge piles of water (in the lobby),” Frame said. “When the elevators were closed, it was coming down in the front of them."
Fans and air movers are currently set up throughout the hallway and connecting area on the fourth floor, as well as the connecting area of the third floor. Wet floor signs are set up in the staircases down to the second floor.