School officials say water main break at U of U caused $250K in damage

Posted at 8:41 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-09 19:15:27-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Firefighters responded to the Research Park at University of Utah Friday night after a water main broke and prompted an evacuation, and school officials estimate the damage amounts to about $250,000.

Officials said a fire service line broke just before 8 p.m. Friday night, sending water flooding through the foundation into the first floor of the Williams Building.

The flooding damaged a loading dock and brought mud and debris into the basement. School officials said thanks to protocols they had in place and because of the quick thinking by firefighters, they managed to divert the water away from expensive equipment.

"I think we're really fortunate that everything worked the way it should, and our plan is to have the building back in use again by Monday morning," said Maria O'Mara, a U of U spokeswoman.

The Williams building is primarily used for office space, but it also houses equipment and research.  Fire crews originally estimated the damages at $1 million, but that estimation was later reduced after school officials were able to better survey the extent of the flooding.