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Pipes Burst Across Campus Due to Arctic Blast

By the time Haraden Bottomley and his roommates woke up in their Mod Saturday morning, none of their showers were turning on. 

“We were like, ‘That’s pretty strange,’” Bottomley, MCAS ’23, said. “And then we realized that only cold water was coming out of our bathroom sinks and then no water out of our kitchen sink at all, so we’re like, ‘Ah, pipes are frozen.’”

Bottomley said their shower upstairs soon started working again. Upon walking downstairs, however, he and his roommates saw water pouring out of an electrical outlet mounted on the ceiling.

And the events at Bottomley’s Mod are not an anomaly—pipes froze throughout Boston College’s campus due to dangerously low temperatures from the arctic blast that swept the Greater Boston area this weekend.

On the other side of campus, Carney Dining Hall temporarily closed due to flooding caused by frozen pipes this morning, according to an Instagram post from BC Dining. 

“It’s crazy,” Nicolas Farrell, LSEHD ’25, said. “I really didn’t know what was going on … but then I saw the water, and I heard people talking about the break, and I don’t know how it happened. I guess with the cold weather, maybe they just weren’t prepared for it or something.”

Upper Campus resident Olivia Gaibor, MCAS ’26, also described her surprise upon first seeing steam and water spewing out of the floor. 

“I think Mac had a few fires and other technical difficulties before, so it’s not totally out of the blue, [but] it caught me by surprise a little bit on Saturday morning, first thing,” Gaibor said. 

Also on Upper Campus, residents of Claver, Loyola, Xavier, and Fenwick Halls (CLXF) received an email from the Office of Residential Life on Saturday notifying them of a leaking pipe on Loyola’s fourth floor. 

“On the 4th floor of Loyola, significant water from a ceiling pipe has leaked into the 4th floor, and there is potential water damage throughout several floors,” the email reads. “As of now water is off for the building, and we will notify you when we are able to return water to the building.”

Fourth-floor Loyola residents and roommates Sofia Pfeffer, MCAS ’26, and Kelly Julio, CSOM ’26, said they were on the first floor of their building when they heard the fire alarm go off. When they returned later, they found their room had flooded and several of their belongings were damaged.

“My computer doesn’t turn on,” Pfeffer said.

Julio said they received an email with a spreadsheet to log any items damaged by the burst pipe so they could be compensated. The two roommates said they did not know where they would be temporarily housed until later in the night.

“We didn’t know where we were supposed to go because they didn’t let us stay in [the dorm room],” said Julio. “It was like nine or 10 when ResLife called us, and they were like, ‘Oh, do you have anywhere to stay or do you need a place to stay?’”

First-floor Loyola resident Matthew Crowley, MCAS ’26, said the water from the pipe is leaking down other floors, though the fourth floor remains the most affected.

“So, we saw just a lot of water in the hallways,” Crowley said. “Fourth floor Loyola—there [were] puddles, and people’s rooms were just completely flooded, water dripping from the ceiling, and even down here on the first floor, two kids down the hall, their room was completely flooded.”

ResLife also advised those who were impacted by the flooding to respond to its email as soon as possible for assistance and to reach out to Facilities Management, the Boston College Police Department, or other campus staff for any other immediate concerns.

The University was very responsive to the pipe issues the arctic blast caused, according to Bottomley, who said that Facilities Management answered and came right away when he and his roommates initially reported the leaking in their Mod.

“We called the facilities people, and they got there actually very quickly, so that was pretty impressive,” Bottomley said. “They were there in I want to say within two or three minutes, and then he went down to the basement and shut the water main off.”

Facilities was also able to fix the pipe issue, according to Bottomley, though the Mod now has several holes in its ceiling.

“As of now, which is like 6:00, we have all of our water back, and … the pipe is repaired—the only thing is we have a couple holes in our ceiling but that’s something we can deal with,” Bottomley said. “You know the Mods are already not exactly the most pristine living conditions, so an extra hole in the ceiling is not going to kill anybody.”

February 4, 2023