The great flood of Barker 310


by Larissa Backhaus

On Thursday evening, water began to steadily drip into Barker 310 from the sprinkler in the ceiling.
The four boys who live in the room didn’t think much of it, but consulted their community advisor about it anyway. They were instructed to put a cup under the
leak to catch the water, and told maintenance workers would be informed about the drip.
According to Josh Wilson, one of the four residents of Barker 310, “It started with a drip every 20 seconds or so.”
Then in an instant, “it turned into water pouring from every hole in the ceiling,” Wilson
Within a matter of minutes, the room was flooded with water. Luckily, three of the four boys were in their room when it started, and they sprang to action. Because of their quick actions, they removed the most expensive items from the room such as their TVs,
Xboxes, and laptops.
Wilson said all of their bedding, two futons and a couple textbooks were ruined.
“Other than that, everything made it out safely,” Wilson said.
Ethan Zierke, the 310 resident who was not in the room when the flooding began, said, “I received eight phone calls while I was in band!”
When he finally had a chance to look at his phone, he learned his room was flooded with water, and he rushed back to his room to find people lifting his soaking wet stuff out of his room.
According to Laura Shell, Area Coordinator for Barker Hall, there was a total of “eight rooms that were affected, to varying degrees.”
“The flooding was caused by a burst pipe in the attic of Barker,” Shell said.
In addition, there were 14 temporary moves, and all students are back in their rooms except room 310, where the flood began.


“We immediately worked to mitigate any water damage. We also had a contractor come to campus and work with us to ensure the rooms would dry properly using dehumidifiers and fans. Contractors also fixed the attic insulation and sprinkler system,” Shell said.


“Simpson was really good with everything that happened. They offered to reimburse us on a lot of the stuff that got ruined and assigned us a new room to live,” Wilson said.


“As with most things, we handle this on a case-by-case basis. We worked with students who had any damage to make sure they were taken care of properly. We still encourage students to use an extension of their parents’ insurance policy or purchase a renter’s

insurance policy to make sure their property is covered,” Shell said.


As a thank you for their understanding, Resident Life sent gift baskets to the students who were affected by the water damage. A dinner was also hosted for the residents and Barker-Kresge staff who helped during the flood in the Barker basement on Feb.13.


As for the 310 Barker boys, sadly their room will not be dried out in time for them to move back in, so now they will spend the rest of the semester as the 306 Kresge boys.


“It was just like a freak accident that no could have really seen coming,” Zierke said