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Students Not Let Back In USD Residence Hall

January 22, 2013, 4:57 PM by Brady Mallory

Students Not Let Back In USD Residence Hall
VERMILLION, SD -

500 University of South Dakota students had hoped to be back home by Tuesday afternoon.  Instead they will spend another night in hotel rooms; some will stay with friends. 

Sub-zero temperatures froze a pipe and caused it to break inside the Coyote Village residence hall on Monday night.  Water flooded into rooms, knocked out power and forced a major evacuation.

Students had all morning and afternoon to get in, get what they needed and get out. 

"I was like, I don't even know what to bring! I was, ugh, I was frustrated," 19-year-old Tiara Thompson said.

The nursing major packed two days worth of clothes.  As for 19-year-old Kelly Kaufman, the biology and neuroscience major grabbed the essentials.

"My burrito I left behind. Oh, and playstation for the room," Kaufman said.

Workers spent the day drying out the main floor.  The water only affected three rooms on the first floor, but had a bigger affect on service rooms.

"The staff was mopping furiously, trying to contain the water," USD Director of Marketing, Communications and University Relations Tena Haraldson said.

The water is all gone, but students and their bags poured out of Coyote Village.  Officials wanted to re-open by Tuesday, but are waiting for parts to repair the broken pipe. The pipes in the building are actually pretty new.  Construction on Coyote Village began in 2008, and the residence hall opened in 2010.  

"We don't really know why that would happen in a new building.  It was toward the north side and we did have that north wind and cold temperatures last night," Haraldson said.

Haraldson said the water mainly affected circuit breakers, leaving the place in the dark.  The power was still out as of Tuesday evening and will most likely not be turned back on until Wednesday.  Coyote Village could re-open on Wednesday. 

USD will pay for students to stay at three area hotels, and provide shuttle buses for students to get to and from campus.  Classes are not cancelled.

"It's pretty frustrating.  I don't know.  I'm just like over it," Thompson said.

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