When Public Affairs Residential College (PARC) resident Nabeel Muscatwalla woke up Sunday morning, his room had undergone a significant change.
“I woke up to knocking on my door,” said Muscatwalla, a Weinberg freshman. “Then I noticed my room was filled with water.”
Muscatwalla’s room, shared with Vinay Patel and located on the second floor of PARC, was flooded with about half an inch of standing water. The water, which was pouring out of the bathroom across the hall, came from the hole where a shower handle had been earlier that morning.
“It started off just like any normal shower,” said Malcolm Bowman, a Weinberg freshman who was in the shower around 11:45 a.m. when it broke. “And then came the time to turn it off.”
As Bowman turned the handle to shut off the shower, he noticed there was no change in water pressure. After four turns, Bowman said, the handle suddenly flew off and slammed against the wall, and he was hit by “a rush of cold water to the face.”
“I’m gasping for air, and I just see an insane amount of water go everywhere,” he said.
Bowman described his initial reaction as “a combination of fear and righteous frustration.” He tried to reattach the handle, but the water pressure was too great.
From there, the flood only spread.
“I don’t know how many gallons of water per second were coming out of that fucking shower,” Muscatwalla said.
Maintenance personnel were contacted, and, after 10 to 20 minutes, they shut the water off to stop the flooding, according to Kirby Gong, a McCormick sophomore who lives on the second floor of PARC. Housekeeping personnel used a special vacuum to remove the standing water, and industrial fans were placed in the hallways to help dry out the carpet. However, the damage was fairly extensive.
“It did make me late [for meetings] … I did have to spend a lot of time dealing with things in my room,” Muscatwalla said.
Due to residents' rooms being entirely or at least partially flooded, some people needed temporary housing for Sunday night, Gong said.
Specifically, Communication freshman Kori Alston and Weinberg freshman Jeromy Gotschall, who share a room on the first floor, had to be relocated for the night. As water flooded the second floor suite, it seeped through the ceiling into their room.
“It was a giant mess,” Gong said.
Despite the inconveniences caused by the flooding, students remained optimistic.
“People were really nice about it.” Muscatwalla said. “I made it to the campus story [on Snapchat], so that’s a victory.”
Bowman, who said he felt partially responsible for the incident, is doing his part by donating towels to people.
“To everyone in this suite and a floor below,” he said. “I sincerely apologize. I didn’t mean to.”