Most of us prefer to spend our Sundays at home preparing for the upcoming school week, but the hardworking ones amongst us who spent last Sunday (22nd January 2017) studying at the School of Law (SOL), found themselves in deep water. Kind of.
Students who had their noses buried in textbooks at the newly opened Kwa Geok Choo Law Library were greeted by the sight of a surprise waterworks display in the middle of the building – but it was no lavish fountain to fit the posh building.
"Floody hell!" said students who were studying in the building on Sunday. (Source: Jo$h Lam)
Due to a burst Public Utility Board (PUB) water main along Canning Rise, a flood of muddy water gushed downhill toward SOL at around 4pm that afternoon. Year one Business student Teng Han, who had been taking a power nap in the library, was awoken by other students’ hubbub over an advancing pool of liquid that remarkably resembled Teh Peng, a Koufu favourite.
“It took me a while to realise what was going on,” he said. “I thought it was a construction accident. The rate that (the water) was coming down was quite fast.”
Despite the swift action of Singapore Management University (SMU) staff laying down sandbags to stem the flow, the flood was as thirsty for destruction as the library's patrons were for knowledge.
“When I saw the water flooding in, my friends and I were all like…GG.com,” said a Business school student who declined to be named. “I pity the carpet…and all those (wearing) white Nikes and Adidas Stan Smiths.”
As water started pooling on the first level, students were quickly evacuated from the building, cautiously leaping from dry spot to dry spot to escape the creeping ‘Teh Tarik’ flood. Despite being rudely awoken, Teng Han was nevertheless impressed by the coordinated evacuation.
“It’s good to know the library has put in place measures for stuff like this… I didn’t think they would evacuate us. I was impressed by the evacuation protocol.”
PUB eventually shut off the water main by 9pm that evening, following which the gargantuan clean-up task ensued.
A student The Blue and Gold (TBNG) spoke to told us in confidence that she hadn’t been fazed by the water gaining ground, but had worried about the prospect of her laptop surrounded by all that water. Noting the eventfulness of the day, she also said, “You would never expect this kind of thing to happen on a Sunday, and some more in a new building. And some more it’s only (been) twenty days! I was laughing because I was wondering how much the school will have to pay.”
The aftermath of the flood: Sodden carpets (above) and the library stripped bare (below).
Based on TBNG’s latest reconnaissance of SOL on Wednesday afternoon (25th January 2017), clean-up was still in progress. The third level of the library had been sealed off, with sodden heaps of carpet heaved into an empty room adjacent to it. Affected Seminar Rooms were found to be closed for cleaning, with students moved to rooms in the basement for their classes. But despite the inconveniences, it was business as usual.
Repair works in progress
Repairs on the water main are expected to be completed by the 26th of January 2017. Until then however, if you’re visiting SOL, we’d recommend bringing a snorkel (and perhaps a pair of flippers).