Students jumped to fix flooding in the Ezra Stiles College basement on Sunday when Yale Facilities was nowhere in sight.
According to a Yale facilities hotline employee, the flooding was an “emergency, and a priority,” yet on Sunday afternoon the nearly one-inch-deep water pooling outside the Stiles laundry room went unaddressed for several hours. The Yale Facilities superintendent had been notified as of 3 p.m. on Sunday, the hotline employee said. Around 3 p.m., the hallway was still covered in water. Around 3:45 p.m., three Yale Facilities maintenance staff had arrived and were cleaning up the remaining water in the laundry room and hallway using a vacuum, a mop and an industrial blow dryer.
The flooding was caused by a broken washing machine, which overflowed midday on Sunday when Stiles student Selena Anjur-Dietrich ’17 went to go wash her clothes. After calling the facilities hotline and being redirected several times without finding someone to fix the flooding, Anjur-Dietrich and her suitemate took things into their own hands and attempted “damage control” with a mop and bucket.
Turning off the water flow on the machine, they sought the help of the students who lived across the hall. Together, the group used brooms and mops to quell the soapy tide. One student stretched towels by the gate of the mechanical room to prevent water from damaging the equipment inside.
“Luckily it didn’t cause too much damage,” said Adam Zucker ’17, who lives in the nearby entryway. His suite is slightly elevated from the basement floor and so did not feel the full effects of the flooding, he said.
Zucker speculated that the laundry-room drain was clogged, since the water from the broken washing machine was spilling out of the laundry room and into the hallway close by. Zucker said the delay in maintenance was to be expected given that the flooding began over the weekend.
“We’re really thankful to them for coming in on a Sunday and cleaning up the mess,” Zucker said.
Nick Crowle ’18, whose suite borders the flooded hallway, said a small amount of water had entered his room. He said the flooding began to enter the hallway around 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Crowle added that this is the first time his hallway has experienced flooding or any other technical problems.
Still, it was not the first time this year that the college has experienced flooding. A broken sprinkler in September flooded the Stiles basement in the fall.
Ezra Stiles College was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen ARC ’34 in 1961.