Logan Howard

A pipe burst in Baker Hall early Monday morning, flooding parts of the building, causing extensive water damage and forcing students to evacuate their rooms for what could be several days.

According to Yale Law School Media Relations Director Debra Kroszner, after a pipe burst on the fourth floor, water and power were shut off throughout Baker Hall — a dormitory and office space used by Yale Law School. Within hours, service returned to all areas excluding four dorm rooms, a lounge and an office suite. She added that classrooms and other offices housed in the building are unaffected by water damage. Still, students with flooded rooms — a total of seven individuals, according to University Spokesperson Karen Peart — have since been relocated to the Courtyard Marriott until repairs are made. Peart added that emergency responders were actively working on cleaning up and repairing the rooms. Several YLS students interviewed by the News complained that in addition to leaving their dorms, they were forced to part with possessions damaged by the flood. Students interviewed by the News expressed gratitude toward the Yale administrators and facilities representatives who have been managing the situation.

“[I] woke up at 7:30 a.m. to water dripping from my ceiling and realized the flood was coming from the fourth floor,” Brian Kim LAW ’21 told the News. “I called public safety immediately and woke up my roommate who mistook the sound of gushing water for rain. Within 20 minutes, water was gushing down the stairwell and we were told it was not safe and to evacuate ASAP. We barely had time to grab our belongings. I took my laptop and that was pretty much it.”

Kim added that Baker Hall “is one of the most recently renovated buildings on Yale campus.” He said that he and his roommate were devastated after the flooding and had to spend hours after the incident “retrieving damaged property and cleaning and packing up our rooms in preparation for further inspection.”

The building — dedicated in September 2018 — was the first physical expansion of the Yale Law School since the Sterling Law Building’s completion in 1931.

Kim, whose room is located directly below the source of the flooding, was among those residents moved to the Marriott until further notice. For students like Kim who were most directly affected, the situation could require severe remediation efforts. In an email to a group of law students, Assistant Dean Mike Thompson wrote that after a preliminary inspection of the site, he and his team concluded that students needed to clear out their kitchens and closets so that a team could remove the waterlogged walls. Thompson reassured students that renters’ insurance should cover most damaged property and that he would have more information when the walls were removed.

Baker Hall resident Ah Ra Cho SOM ’20 said that she will have to dry clean several of her clothes, adding that the time spent recovering from the flood kept her from classes today. Like Cho, Duncan Hosie LAW ’21 wrote to the News that he has thrown away many clothes. Still, Hosie commended the steps Yale staff have taken to keep affected students safe and updated.

“I was upset at first, but in the end, it’s just stuff,” Hosie said.

Baker Hall contributes 137,000 square feet to the Law School campus.

John Besche | john.besche@yale.edu