Atchison’s frigid winter weather came to a literal breaking point on the evening of Feb. 8 when a water pipe burst in Kremmeter Hall, causing three apartments to flood and damaging one other.
A frozen sprinkler pipe above a third floor apartment exploded at approximately 6:30 p.m., causing water to come rushing out of an air vent on the ceiling.
Resident Jessica Carney, junior, recalled how it started.
“It was like a little trickle at first,” Carney said. “Then it started really streaming, so [a roommate’s boyfriend] held a bin up to catch the water and then it started really pouring.”
As Carney and her roommate’s boyfriend tried to get as much water out as possible with buckets, her roommate was on the phone with the Resident Director.
“The RD could barely make out what [Liz] was saying because we were all screaming. It was complete chaos at that point,” Carney said. “It was like [being] on a sinking ship, it was to the point where we couldn’t do anything anymore.”
At that point, there was several inches of water, and it had begun seeping into the apartment below them. The fire alarm went off and the building was evacuated.
RD Claire Haroldson was there when the Atchison Fire Department arrived. “The fire department determined there was no fire, and that a pipe had burst. The water to the affected pipe was then shut off to stop the leak,” Haroldson said.
In less than 30 minutes, four apartments on three separate floors had been damaged. The worst destruction occurred in the second floor apartment.
A mitigation company has been brought in to dry out the affected apartments and repairs to the interiors are expected to take approximately two weeks. In the meantime, residents from those apartments have been rehoused to other campus locations.
Francesca Carney, sophomore and evactuated resident said things could have been worse.
“I’m glad it wasn’t like worse,” Carney said. “I guess it could’ve been worse, but the whole situation was handled well.”
As temperatures continue to drop, students are advised to take extra precautions to keep the community and the buildings safe. If you notice a leaky pipe or something wrong, contact Campus Security at (913) 360-8888.