Pipe Bursts Cause Winter Break Flooding in North Village

While most students were enjoying the warmth and comfort of their homes during the holiday break, those remaining in Building A were not so fortunate.


By Steven Soto

While most students were enjoying the warmth and comfort of their homes during the holiday break, those remaining in Building A were not so fortunate.

A sprinkler on the third floor of the North Village A apartment building burst, causing considerable damage. Senior Hayly Humphreys, who lives in apartment 305, was a main victim of the accident.

The sprinkler in the living room ruptured at about 3 a.m., causing the fire alarm to activate. After a swift response from the fire department and campus police, an investigation ensued and determined the pipe burst was a result of freezing moisture in the pipeline that broke the pressure-release seal.

The pipe burst also affected others in the building.

“Water gushed from the pipes, at least four inches [accumulated],” said Kyle Donovan, another building resident.

The water damaged a total of three rooms. Humphreys had water damage to her furniture and a few electronics as well as some of her clothes. It came as an unfortunate shock was that Furman University does not insure the property of North Village tenants, leaving Humphreys to pay for the cost of her damaged items.

“Once it happened, [the administration] starting saying that we might want to invest in renters insurance,” said Mary Katherine Gleason, Humphreys’ friend and neighbor.

Humphrey’s neighbor Nanne Remington said she thought it was “not very discerning” for the university not to clarify whether there was a need to contact a third-party insurance company, and Humphreys said she would housing to make it clear in contracts that tenants’ personal property is not insured.

“Students move in, bringing everything to their apartments, and think they’re invincible,” she said, encouraging students to look at the fine print in their housing contracts.

Cleanup was a lengthy process. The response teams first extracted the water from the floors and then performed a cleaning process with “an anti-microbial agent that prevents mold and mold-like substances form growing in the newly damp environment,” according to Director of Housing and Residence Life Ron Thompson.

Humphrey said that she was grateful that the university has been making repairs but that the pace of repairs has been slow.

Allyssa Cameron and Amy McGreevy, residents living directly below Humphrey’s apartment, said they found found the cleanup and repair teams to be “very helpful.” They said their apartment suffered no serious water damage, though they did experience dampness in their living room, kitchen, and bedrooms.

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