Campus, News

Flooding at Bay State dorms displaces BU students for weeks

Students were evacuated from 115 and 117 Bay State Road Saturday night after a water main break caused flooding. 

Flooding inside 117 Bay State Road. Boston University housing at 115 and 117 Bay State Road flooded on Saturday night after a water main broke. COURTESY OF PEYTON MILLER

Around 10:30 p.m., students found the basement flooded with water after exiting 117 Bay State  due to a fire alarm. The Boston Fire Department arrived on scene and evacuated both buildings and water in the area was turned off by Boston Water and Sewer Commission. 

“There were firemen there and the only thing they told us was I think ‘pack your raincoats and get out,’” Peyton Miller, a freshman in the College of General Studies, who was at 117 Bay State the night of the flood said. 

No injuries were reported but the displaced residents will not be allowed to return until repairs are finished according to BU spokesperson Colin Riley. 

Miller said many people were not able to get any of their belongings that night as no one was permitted to enter the buildings. Residents were told to go to the lobby of Kilachand Hall to arrange housing for the night, but Miller said many found friends to stay with instead.

“I was lucky because I keep glasses at my friend’s place,” Adrianna Brown said, a resident of 117 Bay State and a sophomore in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. “Otherwise, I just wouldn’t have been able to see.”

Students were allowed to briefly return to their residences Sunday afternoon to retrieve their belongings. An email sent out Sunday morning told students to take anything they may need for the next week and there would be opportunities later to pick up more of their belongings. 

“When I was moving, I didn’t really know where I was going to end up,” Katie Shepardson said, a resident of 117 Bay State and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. “I was kind of just packing whatever I thought I would need wherever I would end up.”

The displaced residents are currently being housed in the Hotel Commonwealth and will continue to stay there until repairs are completed, which Riley said will take weeks. 

“As soon as we’re able to get students back in there, we’ll do that,” Riley said. “But it depends on what the work is and right now they’re still doing the assessment.” 

Student property was “minimally damaged” at 117 Bay State since flooding was confined to the basement where there are no bedrooms. However, there is concern about heating and electrical systems in the lower levels of the building, Riley said.

“[There was] several feet of water,” he said. “They need to get systems back. They might need to replace boilers or hot water heaters, things like that.”

Those at 115 Bay State could not be contacted for comment, but Riley said he assumes the experience is the same.

“The entire situation was incredibly frustrating, and it’s very inconvenient that it’s happening during midterms,” Miller said. “The timing is not the best, but overall BU is … handling it in the best way they can.”

Students are currently being provided with laptops and meal plans if needed. In an email sent Sunday morning, ResLife and the Dean of Students office said they will be informing “academic contacts” that resident’s academics may be impacted during this time.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding that this was beyond the university’s control,” Riley said. “But we are trying to assist the students in getting situated and taken care of.”

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