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Friday, September 29, 2023


BREAKING: 16th floor flooded at Moody Towers south building

Water is seeping down several floors in Moody South. | Greg Fails/ The Cougar

UPDATED 9:50 p.m.: All floors of the South Tower, except the 16th, have been reopened, UH Media Relations said. The 16th floor is set to reopen at 10:30 p.m.

Residents of the affected rooms have the option to move to a temporary room for the night, though UH Media Relations said only four students have signed up for the relocation so far.

UPDATED 8 p.m.: UH Media Relations has confirmed that the 13th through 16th floors are affected. Efforts are being made to drain the water, UH Media Relations said, but residents of the affected rooms will likely be relocated to temporary rooms for the night. The location of the temporary rooms is yet to be determined.

The sprinkler head burst just after 5 p.m., Media Relations said, when the fire alarm and sprinkler system on the 16th floor of the south tower were triggered. However, no fire has been detected in the building.

“My room flooded, which flooded all the other rooms around us,” said anthropology sophomore, Samantha Staton, the resident of the 16th floor room where the sprinkler burst. “They’re unsure of the structural damage so far.”

Staton said she was finishing up her workout at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center when she received the call about her room.

“They were worried that I was stuck inside,” Staton said. “The water was at least a foot high so they didn’t know if I was passed out. They were really worried.”

Able to relocate herself for the night, Staton said she plans to address the condition of her belongings after things have settled. However, she isn’t sure she will be reimbursed for everything that might have been ruined.

“Here, they don’t make you have renter’s insurance – you just sign the agreement form,” Staton said. “I might not get all the money back.”

Staton said multiple students approached her on the way out of the building, asking what had happened to their rooms, and all she could do was tell them she was sorry.

“My room is still a big puddle but a lot of the other rooms have been cleaned out now,” Staton said. “I’m totally taken care of.”

A spokesperson from UH Facilities has confirmed that the water has been turned off.

UPDATED 7:57 p.m.: Houston Fire Department and UHPD crews are on the 15th and 16th floors cleaning and evacuating remaining residents. So far, it is unknown what exactly caused the leak, though the flooding on each floor is emanating from the supply closets on the east side of South Tower down to the 7th floor.

According to reports, there is at least an inch of water in the staircase down to the 11th floor.

Students on the 13th floor’s east side blocked off their rooms with towels, though several have said it was ineffective.

Computer science junior Caesar Salazar lives on and evacuated from the 14th floor, Salazar went back to the 14th floor to see how bad things were and was told to go back down.

“We had to put towels up to keep it from getting in,” Salazar said. “But the water was just flowing out too fast for us to really stop it.”

Acounting junior Ann Ta, a resident of the 13th floor, said that water hadn’t gotten into her room yet. Ta initially evacuated but returned to her room to wait out the leak.

A police officer confirmed the leak was coming from the 16th floor.

According to multiple students, the leak started around 5 p.m.

Water can audibly be heard pouring down as far as the 8th floor.

A sprinkler head burst on the 16th floor of Moody South on Sunday, flooding the floor and preventing students that live above the 12th floor from returning home for the night.

Anthropology sophomore Samantha Staton, whose room is where the pipe burst said that the university offered to relocate her.

“They’re doing their best to relocate everyone.  I can relocate myself, so I am,” Staton said. “They said that for most of the rooms, they should be letting people back in either late tonight or tomorrow morning.”

Students that live in the 12th floor and up aren’t allowed back into their rooms.  The university is working to relocate these students, but it is unclear where they will be relocated at this moment.

According to reports, water is seeping down several floors. The North Tower is unaffected.

As of 6:25 p.m., residents are being evacuated from the building. There is no word yet on where the displaced students will be housed.

Check back for updates.

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