Buildings across the Shippensburg University campus were without water much of Saturday afternoon and evening after a water main break.
Maintenance crews continue to investigate the cause of the break, but the steadiest stream of water was seen flowing outside Naugle Hall near Etter Health Center at approximately 4:45 p.m., according to officials.
SU News sent a mass email to campus at 5:30 p.m. saying that “at this time all water service to campus is impacted and shut off. Please do not flush toilets until further notice.”
At about 5:50 p.m., Shippensburg University Police closed off access to campus at the Fogelsanger Road entrance to prevent cars from driving through the floodwaters. The road was reopened by 6:25 p.m.
The stream of water began to recede by 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., maintenance crews began to vacuum water from one site of the water main break.
University officials sent a second email at 8:02 p.m. indicating that “there is still no water on campus.”
A third email at 8:44 p.m. said water service is being restored to campus with the exception of Naugle Hall. Officials said water pressure is expected to return slowly as maintenance resolves the issue. Students will experience low water pressure until repairs are completed.
It is believed the issue was fully contained to one pipeline, according to sources, but it is unclear if the initial cause occurred in pipes off campus. The issue should be resolved sometime Saturday night, according to maintenance employees.
Campus dining services also responded to the water main break. At 6:40 p.m., Ship Dining posted that Burgers and Fries “will be closed at this time,” but Reisner Dining Hall “will remain open with modified offerings.”
Dining services also began using plastic cups and paper plates in response to the break, and a tablecloth covered the regularly used plastic cups, according to members of The Slate present at the time.
University officials said Ceddia Union Building (CUB) will be open until 11:30 p.m. Students living in Naugle Hall can use the showers in McLean Hall.
Also, Our Lady of the Visitation Church next to campus at 305 N. Prince St. will be open to use the facilities and water fountains until 11 p.m. Students should enter through the front doors.
UPDATE: At 7:39 a.m. on Oct. 8, SU News sent another email that explained water service is expected to be returned to Naugle Hall around noon today. The university installed portable toilets outside of Naugle hall for students to use overnight.
UPDATE: At 10:28 a.m. on Oct. 8, SU Director of Communications Megan Silverstrim provided this statement to the Slate:
"When unexpected disruptions like this one happen a team from various divisions across campus works to determine how long campus may be without essential services (like water) and we work to fill those needs. Many times we can do so with internal resources but others we must go beyond campus and work with partner agencies or companies that we have established relationships with. This allows us to fill the need as quickly as possible.
We often begin planning for longer disruptions even if we expect the incident to be short in duration. This allows us to pivot quickly if the timeline we expected is not met.
Incidents like this we really are all about thinking ahead. Example, what could we need in an hour? Four hours? Twelve hours? And we begin planning for those timelines."
UPDATE: At 11:48 a.m. on Oct. 8, SU News sent an email that said the water service will not be returned to Naugle Hall by noon "due to the complicated nature of the break." The water service is still expected to be returned sometime today. Bottled water is available for students at the front desk of Naugle Hall.
UPDATE: At 3:37 p.m. on Oct. 8, SU News sent an email that said: "Water has been restored to Naugle Hall. All parts of campus are up and operational."
The Slate will continue to publish updates as they become available.