GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - The first floor of Aycock Residence Hall flooded due to a plumbing problem early Wednesday morning.
Officials said around 2 a.m. a pipe on a urinal burst in a men's restroom on the first floor. It flooded much of that floor and part of the basement.
"It sounded like a fire hydrant just exploded. I went into the bathroom and just a huge stream of water [was] coming out," freshman Thaier Askar said.
Askar discovered the leaking pipe. He said he then ran and woke up his roommate who was sleeping at the time.
"I just ran back and told my roommate ‘You cannot believe what I just witnessed. You cannot believe what I just saw.' And ah, honestly, I was just mind boggled," he said.
School officials said an on-call plumber arrived within 20 minutes and immediately turned the water off. However, the damage was already done.
"With that amount of water coming out, the bathroom flooded and then it started going into student rooms," Aaron Lucier, the director of housing operation said.
Askar said he had 3 inches of water in his room.
"Everyone was just unplugging things and moving things from the bottom floor," he said.
Since this happened, the campus living staff worked around the clock, using fans and wet-vacs to get the water out.
"We were fortunate to get the clean-up going so quickly so really some students spent the night with friends last night but they'll be back in their room today," Lucier said.
Lucier said the university houses over 5,000 students so leaks are bound to happen, but usually not at this level.
"This was a pretty extraordinary event and the staff did a wonderful job with it," Lucier said.
"Definitely an interesting way to start the semester but it will be alright. It will be fine," Askar said.
Officials said there was no serious damage to any of the dorm rooms, but some students did have some damage to their personal property.
University personnel will be working with them to help with claims for damages.