Water Main Break Forces BCU Students to Stay Elsewhere

(SIOUX CITY, IA) Some Siouxland college kids are the victims of our wickedly cold winter.

39 Briar Cliff University students were forced to sleep in the gym at West Middle School last night because of a water main break.

The University says because it was the weekend, many kids were already at home with their family or able to stay with friends in the area.

West Middle worked out perfect because there was no school here Monday but Tuesday there is which meant BCU had to come up with another place for these students to Monday night.

It looks like a ghost town at Briar Cliff University. That's because classes were canceled Monday for more than 400 students because of a water main break.

It happened Sunday night and crews have been working around the clock to locate the leak and repair it. Luckily, the President of BCU, Bev Wharton, says crews have figured out where it's coming from but the weather has slowed things down.

"They're dealing with at least 36 inches of frost in the ground and a very very slow process," she said.

Wharton says not only did crews have to shut off water to most of the campus, the old steam heating system in most of the buildings operates on water too. Heelan Hall is the only building that relies on a geo-thermal system.

"We've kept a minimal amount of water in the system so they can heat occasionally just to keep some warmth in the buildings," said Wharton.

One reason why a few guys were playing basketball inside.

"It's a little chilly in here right now, but it's not too bad. I'm not really noticing too much of a distraction from what's going on," said Zach Otting, a Junior at BCU.

Even still, for safety reasons the University moved students who didn't have a place to go to West Middle School's gym Sunday night.

"We felt that that was the best place for them to be because first of all, they're all together. Yes they had men's quarters, they had women's quarters but we had security on site, we had residence hall assistants on site," said Wharton. "So we could create an environment that was a good environment for them but that was also safe and secure."

Wharton says crews still don't know what caused the water main break but think the cold temperatures may have something to do with it.

We received an update from the University at about 4:30 PM telling students they can go to the American Red Cross at 4200 War Eagle Dr.

The crews are still not sure when this water main break will be fixed but classes are canceled Tuesday and the University will keep the students updated on the situation via e-mail.

Bev Wharton also told us that if students chose to stay in hotels Monday night, the University will not reimburse them for that. The same goes for Tuesday night because arrangements have been made with the Red Cross.

Here is the most recent update from the University: Housing Monday evening will be provided at the American Red Cross. Shuttles will begin running from West Middle to Red Cross at 4:45 PM. Shuttles from campus to American Red Cross will run beginning at 6 PM- 9:30 PM. Breakfast will be served at the American Red Cross from 7:30 AM - 9 AM.