Village flooding updates

Learn about what caused the Village to flood and how repairs are made

By Kendall Westgate,

The students who occupy the Village Resident Hall received an alarming email on Jan. 15 around 5:45 p.m. about a flood taking place.

Due to extremely cold temperatures, a break occurred in a sprinkler supply line on the first floor of the Village, according to the Housing and Residence Life Office. This flood in the blue and green pods caused an evacuation out of caution, while UF worked to make repairs to the sprinkler line and start cleaning up. 

Sophomore Lynsey Witt lives on the second floor of the Village and recalls the events leading up to and after the flood.

“My roommate and I had just gotten done with classes for the day and went back to our room to nap before dinner. Not long after we had laid down, the fire alarm went off. With it being below freezing out, we weren’t just going to stand in the cold, so we called a friend who lives in the cottages. She invited us to come and stay until the fire drill was over, so we ended up staying a few hours,” Witt said. “It was around 5:30 p.m. when our RA, Taylor Ivory, had texted our GroupMe group and said ‘Hey ladies, I was just informed that a pipe had burst on the first floor. If you have anything on the floor, please pick it up just in case the second floor decides to do something.’ Roughly 10 minutes later, we received an email from Housing and Residence Life that said ‘Due to a flooding emergency, we are evacuating the village,’ and recommended us to go ‘get warm’ in the CBSL, AMU or a friend’s place. So, my roommate and I headed back over to pick up our things and we even packed an overnight bag. Almost four hours later we received another email saying it would be okay for all unaffected residents to move back into their rooms for the night.”

Wymer’s Restoration and Cleaning was hired by UF to professionally clean the flood. The flood impacted seven rooms, a hallway and lobby areas, according to the Housing and Residence Life Office. 

“We are working directly with the students whose rooms were impacted. Some have chosen to stay with friends, while others have received temporary housing assignments until their rooms are ready for occupancy again,”  Housing and Residence Life Office said in an email to Pulse staff. “There are currently fans and dehumidifiers running to ensure that all impacted areas are completely dry. Once dry, all impacted areas will be cleaned and sanitized by our vendor.”

Through an email, residents were encouraged to evacuate to the CBSL, AMU, Henderson Dining Hall or any other campus buildings. Around 8:30 p.m., students were then informed they could move back into their rooms at 9:00 p.m. if their room was unaffected. 

“One thing I noticed quickly after the initial email was strangers on YikYak offering their rooms up or opening themselves to help others,” Witt said. “There were many selfless acts I didn’t expect. It wasn’t great being kicked out of our dorm room, but I was more worried about everyone else who didn’t have a friend to go to.”

According to the Housing and Residence Life Office, Facilities Services continues to investigate the flooding issue, while also adding additional insulation to the area. They also plan to evaluate the HVAC supply to that area when the weather allows.

“I think they handled the flooding situation well. I wouldn’t have done anything differently if I was forced to handle such a situation,” Witt said. “We were talking to a friend and they said the same thing happened last year, but it wasn’t nearly as bad. If this has happened two years in a row, you think they’d be doing something to prevent it. But they handled it very effectively and there are still fans and dehumidifiers running downstairs currently.”