Water main break "cut" through campus

The Cut earned its name Friday afternoon as victim to a water main break that ripped through campus.

At about 1:10 p.m., the water main broke, causing water to burst through the surface on the side of the Cut closest to the Fence.

University police reported an 8-inch break in the main water line to be the cause.

By 1:30 p.m., the water had spread and was rushing down the steps in front of Warner Hall leading to Forbes Avenue. Gabby Moskowitz, a sophomore computer science major, was walking from Morewood Gardens when she first saw the water coming down the stairs.

"I didn't know what was going on," Moskowitz said. "At first, I thought it was just from the snow, but then I realized that water was actually running like a waterfall toward Forbes."

The water flowed from the break point in the Cut, then diagonally through Walking to the Sky and down the steps to Forbes Avenue. It can be traced by the brown trail left in the snow.

Other students were surprised by the sudden appearance of running water on the Cut.

"I heard that it just bubbled up out of the ground and started spreading," said Allison Schirmurly, a junior civil engineering major.

Many students and faculty alike took the opportunity to take pictures.

While Moskowitz took out her camera phone, Geof Becker, director of public relations for the Tepper School of Business, brought out his camera.

"I have no idea what happened," Becker said. "I just thought it was a great photo opportunity. So, I came out here."

The majority of people stopped and paused as they walked by the Cut, looking on the scene as crews began arriving.

Facilities Management Services arrived on the scene just minutes after the burst. They immediately began digging at the supposed break site, hoping to find and fix the rip.

They did not yet know how many buildings were affected. While no residential buildings were experiencing difficulty, FMS said that buildings directly surrounding the Cut may possibly experience water shortages or instances of discoloring.