The Surfsite Residence Hall on SMCC’s South Portland campus is just starting to return to normal after a ground floor sewage flood on September 10 that ruined the carpet, flooded several rooms, and damaged part of the back wall.
It was late on Saturday night when disaster struck the ground floor of the Surfsite Residence Hall. Backed-up sewage water was seeping from underneath the bathroom door, down the hall, and into the lobby. The residents of room 003 were made painfully aware of the problem an hour before midnight, as it quickly began to spread from the bathroom. The official cause of the mess was a pipe underneath the shower bursting, though some students attest it was caused by someone clogging the drain.
According to Andrew Lepage of 003, the residence assistants were quick to respond. They made efforts to stop the spread with towels and rags, but it was quickly shown to be pointless. The spill was at least ¾ inch deep, according to Izaak Swartz, Andrew’s roommate. “Everyone was contacting facilities, but no one was there,” Andrew told me. “I didn’t see any security either.”
The next morning the school was hard at work cleaning the mess, but it had already flooded three dormitory rooms. Andrew and his two roommates were relocated to the Doubletree Hotel, covered by SMCC, for the week while maintenance drained out the lobby. When they returned, room 003 was worse for wear. It smelled, and the floor was grimy. They were given a mop and bucket without any soap and had to thoroughly spray the dorm with Febreze.
Although the smell is mostly gone, and life has mostly gone back to normal, the damage lingers. Soiled clothes, torn-up carpeting, and ongoing repairs to the first floor bathroom should be a reminder to all residents to treat their bathrooms with care.