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MSU braces for low temps - Crisis team enacts plan to prevent pipe bursts

January 24, 2014

Wooden boards covered the window of a room Thursday at Ruby Hall, where repairs continue for damage from broken sprinkler system pipes Jan. 7. Meteorologists at MSU have forecast more single-digit lows like the ones believed to have frozen Ruby Hall’s pipes, but this time, MSU is preparing by shutting down the water supply to sprinklers on the top floors of Ruby Hall and six other campus dormitories. (Photo by Steven Nalley, SDN)

MSU is bracing for the second round of a fight against freezing temperatures, and there hasn’t been time for the university to determine how it got hit as hard as it did in round one.

On Jan. 7, after two consecutive days of temperatures staying below 32 degrees and often dipping into single digits, sprinkler system water pipes ruptured in Ruby Hall, impacting about 120 students and driving many into alternate housing for the spring semester. Similar but lesser damage hit Oak and Magnolia halls. MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter said it’s the first time these residence halls, still less than a decade old, have faced temperatures this low, and the reasons they succumbed to freezing are still unknown. 

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