Leebrick flood still causing issues for residents

An affirmation from @ksuaffirmations on Instagram about the Leebrick Hall flood.

Megan Becker Assigning Editor

The residents of Leebrick Hall are still dealing with the aftermath of the Oct. 19 flood.

Leebrick Hall floors three and eight flooded with an inch of water, causing water to drain to the floors below. Floors three and eight were left with damp carpet and a musty smell. 

George Edmiston, the associate director of residential facilities and housing, said the flood was cleaned up the night of.

“I think for the most part the custodial staff did a great job of trying to immediately respond,” Edmiston said. “They work closely with the students the day of as well as the following few days after, just making sure that all issues were resolved and that the water was all cleaned up.”

Travis Chambers, a sophomore advertising major and eighth floor resident, said he has struggled to get his room properly cleaned. He submitted a maintenance request Wednesday night for fans to air out his damp room. Thursday night, the request was marked as completed, although he never received fans.

He then filed another maintenance request for his room to be steam cleaned. Maintenance responded by sending an employee to spray his room to “make it smell nice.”

“They didn’t sanitize or clean anything, they just soaked up most of the water, but it was still left really wet and then the spray made it smell nice for a little bit,” Chambers said. “It doesn’t smell nice anymore.”

He keeps his windows open “all the time, but it’s freezing.” He filed a damage report for his computer, two electric guitars and more. He would estimate the cost of damage to be about $2,000.

Edmiston hasn’t seen any damage reports yet, but said they have been honored in the past.

Chambers said his floor flooded again on Sunday from a different source, leaving the carpet in his room and hallway soaked again. 

Jeffrey Hug, a Kent State housekeeper, said the usual process for cleaning a flood is extracting the water from the carpet, letting it dry, spraying the area with deodorizer and mold control, extracting the carpet with hot water then air drying with the help of fans.

However, Hug was only aware of the full cleaning process on floors one and three, not eight.

Elena Kandola, a freshman fashion design major and eighth floor resident, said that no one came back to her room to continue cleaning after extracting the standing water. 

“I left my window open and that was really all I could do because they didn’t really give us anything,” Kandola said.

None of her things were ruined in the flood and her room is now back to normal, but she’s upset with the university’s lack of communication. She spoke with her RA about the situation, but never received an email from the university.

“I know that my RA was saying they don’t communicate directly to [the residents],” Kandola said. “We should still know what’s going on. Everybody’s worried about mold and that’s a pretty big issue.”

Chambers received emails from the university, but only after he reached out first.

“The only communication that I got about it was because I reached out to people like the GA and then the RA,” Chambers said. “I feel like they just wanted to sweep it under the rug and then let people figure it out on their own so they wouldn’t have to do anything about it.”

Edmiston said that residents should communicate with their hall staff on the situation.

Hug also faced problems with communication about the flood within the housekeeping staff.

“If I’m a manager, I immediately check, ‘Okay, what needs to be done?’ and then send my crew out there to follow up,” Hug said. “I don’t think he did, because we didn’t get a call the following day ‘til after lunch and that’s just dropping the ball. Do your job.”

He said some residents didn’t allow housekeeping or maintenance into their rooms a second time, which is what Hug blames the smell on.

“We have had a lot of students not being hygienic, shall we say. And there’s really not a lot we can do about it, unless it becomes a fire hazard,” Hug said. “If they’re fine with moldy carpet, mildew carpet, there ain’t nothing we can do about it.”

Megan Becker is an assigning editor. Contact her at [email protected]