Extensive Flood Damage To University of Hawaii Science Building - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Extensive Flood Damage To University of Hawaii Science Building

Leonard Freed Leonard Freed
Marguerite Butler Marguerite Butler

By Beth Hillyer

MANOA (KHNL) - The fire was so intense it melted a water pipe, flooding three floors of Edmondson Hall on the U-H Manoa campus.

Dozens of classrooms and laboratories are flooded. But this disaster is not from heavy rains, instead, from a fire.

The flooding is so bad classes at Edmondson hall are cancelled tomorrow. Professors need more time to clean up and assess the damage.

Edmonndson Hall is home to the biology and zoology departments.

Water pours down from the second floor. Graduate Student Nick Whitney realizes, "It's not looking good I just got here to see water pouring out of the floor my office is on."

A fire broke out in the office of Professor Leonard Freed on the third floor overnight, "Little after 9 am campus security called to say there had been a fire."

It destroyed almost everything inside. The bookshelves are scorched.

His life work involves the study and tracking of rare birds on the Big Island. "If there is one tragedy that can result from this it would be if the data books 14 years of data if those got burned that's not replaceable," says Professor Freed.

The heat caused a water pipe to burst. Water flooded down from the third floor all night.

Saturated ceiling tiles snapped and they are scattered everywhere.

Firefighters use shop vacuums and squeegees to mop up several inches of water in classrooms offices and laboratories.

Teachers and graduate students inspect the damage to equipment and experiments. Professor Marguerite Butler demonstrates, "Look at the water dripping out of it this water came out of this laptop."

The computer and it's data are likely ruined.

Professor Butler is sad, "It's a lot of time lost trying to clean up everything."

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