2,000 Ohio State students evacuated after water main break
Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 11:09
Students were evacuated from South Campus dorms Sunday night after a water main break flooded the basement of Park-Stradley Hall.
“Right before this happened, we were looking at Park-Stradley, and all the lights went out. There was a really loud, kinda like a hum, and then everything came back on, then the sirens just started,” said Tom McKinney, a chemical engineering major living in Baker West.
Park-Stradley Hall, Baker Hall East and West, and the Ohio Union were evacuated as a result of the breakage.
Taylor Stepp, Undergraduate Student Government president, said he was inside the Union when it was evacuated.
“We were in the USG office having a meeting, and a security officer walked into the building and told us that they’re evacuating the building,” Stepp said. “We just looked at him and he said, ‘It’s not a joke, I’m serious.’ We all left and found out that there was a water leak, and that it’s a state law that a building of that size needs to be evacuated when there is a water leak.”
Dave Isaacs, communications and media relations manager of Student Life, said the Ohio Union was closed at 9 p.m. due to a water main break. He also said the Union will be closed until further notice, at 10 p.m. Sunday.
The Columbus Division of Fire received an alarm at 7:52 p.m. that there was a fire alarm at Park-Stradley.
“It’s a major water leak, and it started filling up the basement. And it’s also filling up all the tunnels, so it’s a pretty major leak under there,” said Jim Cannell, deputy chief of Columbus Fire.
Jim Lynch, university spokesman, said in an email to The Lantern that OSU discovered “an underground water line break” at about 8:30 p.m. “While crews have isolated the water-line break, approximately 2,000 students have been moved to RPAC as crews continue to assess the situation. The university is working to return the students to their residence halls as soon as possible.”
“We’re evacuated, and we gotta find places to sleep tonight, or go to the RPAC,” said Matthew Green, a sustainable plant systems major. “We have no idea when we’ll be able to go back.”
Andrew Holleran contributed to this article.