Burst Pipes May Surprise Some Students When They Return to Oxford

Photo courtesy of Travelers
Photo courtesy of Travelers

After freezing temperatures took over the weekend, some students may not be happy with what they could potentially come home to.

In a report released from the Oxford Fire Department, firefighters responded to at least four calls regarding busted water pipes over the weekend. According to Davii Jo Chinault, administrative assistant for the fire department, responders are anticipating many more calls regarding busted water pipes as temperatures rise and the water begins to leak.

“The students went on the holiday break and had their heat turned off, not knowing it would be in the single digit numbers,” Chinault said. “Temperatures got above freezing, yesterday, causing the pipes to burst. I’m sure there are tons more broken water pipes where the students will return to their house, apartment or condo being flooded.” 

Steve Jones, owner of the Servpro franchise in Oxford, said this weekend has been nothing less than hectic for his crews.

“We’ve seen a big uptick in calls,” Jones said. “We are working, right now, on 10 or 12 different jobs in Oxford alone.”

Jones said the jobs have ranged from apartments to sorority houses to individual homes, but one job, in particular, has left some Ole Miss students devastated.

“We’re working on a case of four young ladies at Ole Miss that had gone out of town for the break. They’re all from out of state,” Jones said. “When the first one came back, she walked in the home, and I think water probably spilled out of the front door.”

While the students were out of town to celebrate the holidays, a pipe burst, and Jones said water had to have been running for two or three weeks.

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Home of Ole Miss students currently under renovation due to water damage.

“Their whole home is having to be ‘demo’d’ and then put back together,” Jones said.

Olivia Marino of New Jersey came back to Oxford to prepare for winter intercession classes when she discovered she was about to be preparing for much more.  

“I opened the door, and there was about four inches of water on the floor through the whole living room,” Marino said. “After I called the landlord, I checked my room. And in my room, the whole ceiling had fallen through.”

Marino said all of her furniture, including a bed and dresser, was soaked to the point of ruin.

“My dresser was wood, and it kind of caved in. So, to get my clothes out to see if they were molded, I had to break open my dresser with a hammer,” Marino said. “It wasn’t an ideal situation, for sure.”

All four students had to find living arrangements for the spring semester due to the amount of damage, and in Marino’s case, finding a home had to be done immediately. 

Regardless, Marino said she is staying positive and trusts 2017 will be a good year for her although it’s off to a rocky start. She also advised other out-of-town students to take extra measures when leaving their homes for long periods of time. 

“Have your landlord check up on the house at least once a week,” Marino said.  “Definitely, don’t leave your valuables. I didn’t, and those are the only things that I’ve got left to keep.” 

Although a 24-hour service, Servpro crews are working around the clock and then some to address the damage caused by this past weekend’s freezing temperatures.

Jones said the team is working to get caught up, but “right now, we are handling the emergencies where we just have to go and extract water from the home or the business.”

Jones warns students that it is in their best interest to leave the heat on in their homes or apartments while they are away during winter months.

“During cold snaps like this, go ahead and make sure all of your faucets are dripping,” Jones said. “If you leave town, you definitely want to leave the heat on, turn it to no lower than 60. Don’t turn it off. If you turn it off, you’re probably going to have pipes bursting.”


Randall Haley is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

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