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Pipe Bursts, Displaces USD Students From Dorm

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For the second night in a row, nearly 500 University of South Dakota students are unable to stay in their dorms. Monday night, a pipe in USD’s newest resident hall burst, flooding part of the building’s 1st floor.

Monday night around 9:45 students who call Coyote Resident Hall on the USD campus home, got quite the scare. Fire alarms in the building went off and all 494 students were evacuated from the building.

"CA's came around knocking on doors and saying we need to get out,” said Miranda Vlach, a sophomore at USD.

The 175-unit complex off of Rose Street on the University of South Dakota’s campus in Vermillion sits dark and a little damp after an inch of water covered parts of its 1st floor.

“It was completely flooded last night people were sloshing around in it,” said Vlach.

Just before ten Monday night, residents of Coyote Village, like Vlach, got quite the scare.
"The fire alarms went off, so we all evacuated, they were sounding a little funny and we weren't sure what was going on,” Vlach said.

School officials said the freezing temperatures Monday night may have frozen a pipe in the northern part of the building, causing it to burst.

"Where the pipe broke, was right over the electrical room, where there are a lot of your normal electrical connections, circuit breakers, those kinds of things. And they got pretty wet,” said Tena Haraldson, with USD.

Haraldson said the damage wasn’t wide spread.
“There were only three (dorm) rooms, that were occupied and the staff went in there and lifted the belongings on the bed so they didn’t get wet,” said Haraldson.

But where the water did go, caused both water and electricity in the entire building to be turned off. And crews were forced to wait until they could get parts to fix what was damaged. Until then, nearly 500 students will have to spend another night at either a hotel, or a friend’s house.

" There will be staff members that will go out to all of motels to help them get checked in and make sure they are all taken care off,” said Haraldson.

Despite being displaces for a couple of nights, Vlach said, this all makes for an interesting start to the spring semester.

School officials said crews will be working to fix the damage all Tuesday night. They said they hope to let students back into the dorm on Wednesday.

They also want to remind students that they still need to attended class, and there will be shuttles until 11 p.m. to get them to hotels.

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