By Ülvi Gitaliyev
On the 26th of September, what started as another ordinary Monday in Berea College turned into an anxiety fueled panic over a water crisis. With the prospect of no showers or toilets for two weeks, many students demanded a switch to online classes to go home. While there is now water in some buildings at some times, uncertainty still circulates the situation, so this Berea Torch article is meant to give a brief rundown of what happened in the last 24 hours and what advice has been given out by the appropriate authorities.
The water saga started with an email sent by Shane Wilkerson, Director of Facilities and Engineering at Berea College at 5:12 pm, announcing to students that there was a low water pressure issue on campus. In the space of the next hour, halls from all over campus began reporting a total lack of water. By 9:03 pm, Wilkerson had announced what many students already knew, that there was no running water in Berea College. Social media was buzzing with students driving to Buc-ees or walking to nearby forests to take showers and relieve themselves. Even some professors, such Jarrod Brown, cancelled classes until water was back at normal levels. Luckily, water returned at many buildings by midnight, but this was only a temporary respite. As of the writing of this article, most top floors on most buildings still have very weak water pressure and the College is rationing its water supply, causing changes in the room temperatures.
So, what should Berea College staff and students be doing to stay safe? The Berea Torch spoke with Berea Utilities who said that the problem is expected to be solved soon, but that does not mean that there are no problems along the way. As of the latest information, Berea residents are encouraged to boil all cooking and drinking water for three minutes before using it, at least for the next 24 hours, as of 12:00 pm, September 27th.
Stay healthy Berea!
UPDATE: As of 10:39 am, September 28th, the boil water advisory has been lifted.