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The Daily Tar Heel

Greenlaw Hall recovering from flood

The large hole in front of Greenlaw was caused by a water main break.

The large hole in front of Greenlaw was caused by a water main break.

An Alert Carolina message informed students that the break had occurred and the building had been closed and evacuated.

Some students were blissfully unaware.

“I didn’t know about it, so I guess I wish we were better informed,” junior Isabel Hagood said.

Senior Sam James said he prepared for the worst.

“I honestly thought it was part one of the English department’s coup d’etat. I was ready,” he said.

Doug Mullen, UNC’s chilled water systems manager, said the break came from a large crack in a chilled water pipe that feeds the air hammers in the building to allow for air conditioning.

“The pipe is cast iron and it cracked due to age,” he said. “It was put in in the ’70s.”

Mullen said most of the water was outside of the building.

"(The water) came up onto the bricks on the west side of the building, and some got into the lobby area” he said.

“When I got there, the valves had been closed, and there was some guy with a shop vac cleaning up some standing water in the lobby area.”

He said the pipe has since been fixed and tested to prevent events like this in the future.

“We replaced the 12-foot section of that pipe and pressure tested it and put it back in service because we wanted you to have air conditioning for class today,” Mullen said.

Dan Anderson, associate chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, said the break did not affect him.

“(The faculty) received emails and updates over the weekend,” he said.

There was no water damage on upper floors of the building.

“The first floor is primarily classrooms, so no books or personal property would have been damaged,” Anderson said.

Mullen said the large hole in front of the building is being looked at by a contractor and should be restored by this weekend.

“The contractor is repairing the pipe and the hole was open because it was all wet, and we wanted to let the soil dry out before we restore it,” he said.

Sophomore Blaise Dunsmith said he was pleasantly surprised by the condition of Greenlaw Hall.

“I was anticipating the entire building smelling like poo,” he said. “Instead it smells like books and old people, like usual.”

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