In at least the third unrelated flooding incident in or around Cornell’s campus in the last few weeks, a pipe burst in Collegetown Wednesday, forcing the City of Ithaca to shut down Dryden Road.
The flooding occurred in front of the former Royal Palm Tavern bar, causing water to leak into the basement of the building, according to Erik Whitney, assistant superintendent of the Department of Public Works’ Water and Sewer Division.
The pipe burst because it repeatedly froze and thawed once The Palms had been shut down and vacated in the spring, according to Whitney.
“When [The Palms] vacated and turned the heat off, the pipes went through a couple of freeze and thaw cycles, causing the pipe to leak water into the basement,” he said.
Whitney said that pipe bursts are a “normal event to happen in the winter time.”
“It’s pretty routine for us,” he said. “Around half a dozen of these happen each winter.”
Crews from the city’s Water and Sewer Division worked from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. making repairs, according to Whitney.
In January, a frozen sprinkler pipe in Weill Hall burst, damaging Synapsis Cafe. Synapsis was closed for almost a week.
Another flood on Cornell’s campus occurred in the basement of Barnes Hall on Monday, forcing Cornell Career Services and Public Service Center staff to vacate the building.