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Displaced USD Students Talk About Evacuation

January 22, 2013, 5:57 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Displaced USD Students Talk About Evacuation

Students at the University of South Dakota had a three-day weekend, but Monday night might have felt much longer.  That's because a water pipe break in the Coyote Village forced more than 500 students to evacuate.  The pipe’s break forced water and power to be turned off and students to move out.

"I get out of the shower and our C.A. is knocking at the door saying we have to evacuate because the first floor is flooded.  At that point I had no idea what was going on so I just rushed, put all my stuff on and went outside," freshman Zach Lenasen said.

Students were told about the break around 11 p.m. Many didn't know what was wrong until they walked through the flooded first floor.

"There were a ton of people downstairs and there was water up to the fireplaces," Senior Breanna Janovy said.

The university gathered students and then placed many in two nearby hotels.  Others went to stay with friends.  The doors didn't reopen until 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"I'm just trying to get back in.  I have class in less than an hour so I'm trying to get my books and a last bit of homework done before I have to go to class," Lenasen said.

And no matter their major, this experience is a crash course USD students won't forget anytime soon.

"Not everyone knew what was going on.  A couple people were frustrated and others were like, whatever," Janovy said.

Some students say they could hear some kind of alarm start around an hour before they were told to evacuate, but the sound of the alarm was unfamiliar to them.

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