Portions of the east wing of Andrews Hall were flooded late Saturday evening, prompting a building-wide evacuation of students, according to four Andrews residents.
Dorms in all five residential floors of the building, as well as the third and fourth floor hallways, were affected by the flood, multiple students told The Herald. Following the evacuation, students whose dorms were flooded were offered free dry cleaning for soiled clothing and limited emergency housing for the night.
Multiple students reported that a cleanup of the floor occurred early Sunday morning. All the students who spoke to The Herald were able to return to their dorms Sunday.
It was not immediately clear what caused the flooding at the time of publication.
Facilities Management and the Office of Residential Life were unavailable for comment at press time. The administrator on call declined to comment.
Multiple RPLs in Andrews contacted by The Herald did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
The alarm was triggered at the tail end of a blizzard that rocked the northeast and forced a variety of University operations, including some dining halls and shuttle service, to temporarily shutter. Providence received approximately 12 inches of snow, according to latest National Weather Service estimates.
The evacuation was met with confusion from students, according to Andrews resident Devon Newman ’25, whose room was not affected by the flooding.
“I was about to fall asleep, and this wailing alarm went off … and I thought, ‘Oh, this probably isn’t a drill,’” Newman said. “A lot of us didn’t know what was going on.”
“It was around 10:30 (p.m.) when I heard the fire alarm go off,” added Andrews resident Julia Gugulski ’25. “Because of the snow, people were slow to leave.”
Following the evacuation, many students waited outdoors or entered the nearby Smith-Buonanno Hall. Others entered the adjacent Metcalf Hall once permitted by RPLS.
“I stood outside on the stairs in front of Metcalf for about 30 minutes,” Newman said. “And then, finally, (nearby RPLs) said we could go inside.”
After the alarms stopped, students returned to “at least two inches of standing water,” in the third and fourth floor hallways of Andrews Hall’s east wing, Newman said. The upper floors of Andrews were the worst hit by the flood, according to Andrews resident Chris Nguyen ’25, whose dorm room on the third floor was flooded,
After the initial evacuation alarms, Nguyen “went outside and saw water starting to drip from the windows,” he said. Upon returning to his hallway, water was flowing from under his dorm door. Inside, the water was “two inches deep and muddy.”
“About 15 minutes after we found out that our room was flooded, an RPL came by,” Nguyen said. “She gave us her phone number and said that if we needed immediate housing, we could text her.”
Students affected by the flooding were offered dry cleaning for any clothing soiled in the flood, multiple students said. One such student was Andrews basement resident Sam Latzman ’25.
“There was probably about half an inch of water on the dorm floor,” Latzman said. “Because the leak went off in my closet, it just got all of my clothes wet.”
Following the flooding, an RPL told Latzman to leave the soiled clothes in a labeled bag to be picked up for dry cleaning, he said.
Students were also offered emergency housing, according to Latzman, but were encouraged to spend the night in another dorm if possible. “There was going to be emergency housing if we needed it … but there wasn’t enough for everybody in Andrews,” he said.
According to Nguyen, Facilities Management came to the dorms in under an hour after the incident, and a cleaning crew followed at approximately 3 a.m.
“The cleanup happened overnight,” Nguyen said. “Now, my entire floor is good.”
Neil Mehta is a University News section editor covering Institutional Equity and Student Affinity at The Brown Daily Herald. He also serves as the 133rd Editorial Board's design chief. He is a sophomore from Stony Brook, NY studying public health. Outside the office, you can find Neil baking, reading YA fiction and playing Tetris.