January 29, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 28°F


Flooding occurs in West Tower

The tenth floor of West Tower at Ithaca College flooded on the afternoon of Nov. 30 because of an activated fire sprinkler.

Several rooms on the tenth floor experienced water damage after a student got clothing tangled on a sprinkler head and snapped the sprinkler head off, according to an email sent out to students by the college.

Only the five oddnumbered rooms on the floor experienced water damage, Ronald Trunzo, director for Residential Life and Judicial Affairs, said at a 6 p.m. meeting in West Tower for tenth floor residents.

Trunzo said the residents of the tenth floor will not be able to stay on their floor until most likely Dec. 2 while the floor is blocked off as the college’s facilities staff extracts the water. The facilities staff will extract the water with large vacuums and dry the floor with industrial fans during the weekend.

Trunzo said the college is aware of the student who is responsible for the water damage and will be following up with the student.

Students retrieved items they would need during the weekend from their rooms after the meeting ended. Tenth floor residents could either stay with a friend somewhere else on campus or stay in certain rooms that the Office of Residential Life confirmed are vacant, Trunzo said during the meeting.

Only the items that were on the floor of the oddnumbered rooms are wet, and any items that were not on the floor should not be harmed, Trunzo said. He said there is no water in the evennumbered rooms on the floor.

Items on the floors of the affected rooms were placed in bags and moved to the West Tower lounge, Trunzo said. Students who have personal property that was damaged should contact their personal property insurance provider or their renter’s insurance company, according to an information sheet handed out during the meeting.

He said there is a possibility that students will be able to go back to their rooms Dec. 1.

“It just depends on how long it’s going to take to get the rooms dried,” he said. “Realistically, it’s more like 48 hours, so I think realistically Sunday afternoon.”

Residents will receive an email when it is safe to return to the tenth floor, Trunzo said.

Freshman Gillian Hanson, a resident on the tenth floor of West Tower, said her room experienced water damage since she lives in the room next to the student who broke the sprinkler.

She said she was not in her room when the flooding started, but initially heard about the flooding from the roommate of the student who broke the sprinkler and from a janitor.

“From the janitor, she told me the tenth floor was ankle deep in water,” Hanson said.

Freshman Jacob Sutton, another student who lives in one of the affected rooms, said he saw the flooding as it happened.

“I was actually in the shower when the fire alarms went off, and I got out of the shower and walked into the hall, and there was water coming from the water system,” Sutton said. “Water was just gushing out into the hall and going under my door and people’s doors around me.”

Rachel Heller can be reached at rheller1@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @rachelpparis