Students' property destroyed in North Quad flood not covered by U-M insurance
Editor's note: Update: Officials are now reporting there were 32 students displaced. According to original reports, it was believed 100 students were displaced by the flooding.
- For an updated story, see University of Michigan's North Quad up and running 5 days after flood
Personal property belonging to University of Michigan students that was destroyed in Thursday’s flood in the North Quadrangle dormitory won’t be covered by the university’s insurance, according to officials.
University spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said in a Thursday evening email that students’ personal property is usually covered by the students’ insurance policies.
“Typically, it is a student’s homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance that covers personal property,” Cunningham said.
Students who live on the third and fourth floors were mainly affected. North Quad is a newly built building that began housing students at the beginning of the 2010 fall semester.
About 10:40 a.m. Thursday, a coupling on a three-inch water line to the building’s fire suppression system broke in a fourth-floor stairwell. Thousands of gallons of water flooded the building as the water went to lower floors.
Hallways of the building held inches of standing water while the affected stairwell looked more like Niagara Falls than a path to different floors. The flood displaced at least 96 students and the university is working to fulfill their immediate needs.
Courtesy photo | Heidi Skrzypek
University Housing spokesman Peter Logan said students who were displaced by the flood will be placed in unused dorm rooms on campus or local hotels. Logan told the Michigan Daily on Thursday that the students who lost items in the flood will have to file claims with their parents’ homeowners insurance or independent renter’s insurance to receive compensation.
To this point, the university is working on cleaning up the building, Cunningham said.
“We are in cleanup mode right now and have not fully evaluated the situation,” she said. “The Student Affairs and housing folks are taking care of the students’ immediate needs.”
The cause of the flood is not clear. Construction on North Quad was completed in time for the 2010 fall semester. The three-year project cost the university $175 million.
North Quad houses the U-M School of Information and portions of the university’s College of Literature, Science and Arts.
Manish Parikh, U-M student body president, could not immediately be reached by AnnArbor.com Friday morning for comment on the flood.
Video courtesy of Thomas Jean.