Copley Flooding Causes Resident Exodus

It started small—just a noise, like rain in the heating ducts. Then it turned into a leak, then a cascade. Dubbed “Copley Flood ’07” by John Tincoff (SFS ’09), the abundance of water that burst into the fifth floor of Copley and poured through a light fixture and the elevator shaft down to the fourth floor created shock, confusion and a few displaced residents.

When Yasmin Rawji (SFS ’09) was told there was a flood on the fourth and fifth floors, she thought it meant the bathroom was flooded. This turned out not to be the case.

“It was like being stuck in a rainstorm and you couldn’t go anywhere,” said Yasmin Rawji (SFS ’09), who estimated that the halls accumulated over an inch of water. “I couldn’t cross to the other side of the hall without getting soaked.”

The ceiling had collapsed, leaving particulates of ceiling matter spattered across the hall. The smell of damp carpet permeated the air, and dozens of dumbstruck residents waited for directions and helped out when they could. Many moved quickly to protect their property, and some wondered what their living conditions would be beyond the immediate future.
Anna Driggers (SFS ’08), whose room was located at the center of the flood on the fifth floor, said that DPS responded quickly as soon as they were notified. In under an hour, the flood was contained. Water vacuums took care of the invading liquid, but some rooms—like Driggers’—had already been rendered uninhabitable.

On the fourth floor, Jen Lee (MSB ’09) said that the water came down in sheets. “Like a curtain,” she said. “It started pouring down the sides of the walls.”

“We were literally, like, splashing through the halls.”

There, too, residents stood in the halls in a state of unreality. Some played cards, others munched on snacks. All looked somewhat bewildered. Mattresses lined the walls, towels lay strewn across the floor.

As Rawji said, “It looks like a refugee camp.”

Refugees from both floors have been temporarily relocated to open dorm rooms.

But some students like Mary O’Loughlin (SFS ’09) are managing to find a bright side to the flood.

“Greatest excuse ever not to take a shower,” she said.

Posted by John Lawless, Staff Writer, and Michael Keller, Assistant Design Editor

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