Students relocated due to flooding

Photo courtesy of Gardner-Webb University

By Sthefany Flores

Half of Gardner-Webb’s Apartment A experienced water damage due to a burst pipe Sept. 17 at 2:40 a.m.

Photos courtesy of Hannah Anders


Sarah Currie, Dean of Students, said, “[Gardner-Webb] is still exploring the cause of the pipe burst.” She explained that repairs and the relocation of students to other halls for housing were their priority.


John Johnson, Director of Housing and Residence Education, agreed with Currie and mentioned, “[a burst pipe] is just something that happens.” He said that he was notified of the leak at 3:30 a.m. and arrived 10 to 15 minutes after the call.


According to Apartment A residents, by that time University Police had been notified, the on-call maintenance staff was working on the problem.


“Including myself there were four housing staff, three operations personnel working on water extraction and addressing the issue and University Police was also there to help and assist,” Johnson explained.


Johnson said that when he arrived at the scene, after ensuring that repairs were underway, he began writing the accident report and formulating a plan for the temporary housing of the students affected.


“At the heart of [the situation] is what can we do to take care of the students. We wanted them to lay their heads somewhere,” Johnson noted. He then began to manually authenticate each student key card to ensure that they could open the new housing they were assigned.


Currie said about the situation: “I am grateful to work with people with skills to navigate a situation outside the normal operative day.” She continued: “within hours they had them out of the apartments with water damage and relocated into different residential halls on campus.”


In an email to the affected students Sept. 21, Johnson wrote, “we hope to be able to permit you to return to your apartments by no later than September 29, 2017 if all repairs continue as currently scheduled. Be advised that this is a tentative date that is subject to change.”


Some students said that they believe that this date might be a bit optimistic when they considered the damage done.


“The living room, kitchen, and laundry room were already under about two inches of water by 3:30,” said Callie Elliott, A101 resident. “It started coming through the walls and into my closet. It also leaked on the electrical near the washer and dryer.” she continued.

Despite what happened, A101 residents said that they are trying to make the best out of the situation. “It could have been worse, I’m thankful that it wasn’t,” Elliott said.


Andrea Howell of A101 said, “It was a learning experience. Some things happen and you have to adjust to the situations that happen in life. The flood was a bad experience but it could have been much worse.”

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