Another pipe bursts on NSU's Tahlequah campus.
Earlier this week, Northeastern State University's Tahlequah campus faced a handful of issues resulting from the significant and sudden drop in temperature. One of these issues possibly came from a sprinkler head bursting in the W. Roger Webb Technology Center, the building on campus that many students use to do homework or hold meetings.
The pipe freezing is believed to be the cause of the rupture, but nothing is confirmed as of yet. Casey Baker, Tahlequah fire chief, said that damage done due to the busted pipe was minimal and confined to a single room
"There was a sprinkler head that had busted in the fire pump room off in the back of the building," said Baker. "Any water damage that occurred was confined to that room as it was not in the building itself. We had to shut off the main water supply due to the location of the damaged sprinkler head."
Pipes can be damaged when the water inside them freezes and expands, causing cracks and fissures to form in the pipes, occasionally leading to a large rupture. WIth the temperatures in Tahlequah dropping to uncommon lows, it is easy to see why this is the suspected cause of the issue.
While damage did not spread into the lobby of the building, it did allegedly spill out into the parking lot, causing the ground to freeze and the roads to become unexpectedly slick. Hanna Murry, NSU student, experienced the aftermath.
"The roads were slick from all of the snow and ice, I believe," said Murray. "Everyone was sliding in their cars and it was terrifying. I didn't even wind up going to the Webb because I didn't want my car to get stuck in the parking lot."
Baker said that, while the fire pump room did have drains for excess water, he was sure that some of it managed to escape with how much was coming from the rupture.
"I'm sure that some of the water did happen to drain out into the parking lot, but I'm not sure how much," said Baker. "I'm also sure that, if it did, it would have frozen over due to the cold weather. The room did have drains so most of it drained that way. It did take us a while to shut it off, though."
The Tahlequah Daily Press reached out to NSU for a comment but has not received a response by the time this article ran.