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Wednesday, December 08, 2021
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UW-Madison Chemistry building suffers water main break resulting in evacuation and canceled classes through the weekend. 

Evacuation, canceled classes stem from water main break in Chemistry building

After a water main break, everyone inside the UW-Madison Chemistry building was evacuated, prompting canceled classes inside the building Friday.

The UW-Madison Police Department responded to a leak early in the afternoon. Upon realizing how large the leak was, they decided to close off the building while they evacuated those inside. 

UWPD Director of Communications Marc Lovicott found it “likely” that the extremely cold temperatures throughout the state impacted the pipe burst. 

The water was primarily collecting in the basement and was “knee-high” in some locations, according to Lovicott. 

“With it being in the Chemistry building and with experiments we had concerns about power loss, so we quickly evacuated the building,” he said. 

They were able to stop the leak after turning the water off. They are currently focused on clean up efforts, which start with pumping the water out of the building. 

At the moment, classes are canceled through the weekend and the building will be closed until further notice.

“We do know there are some classes scheduled this afternoon, so we are doing our best to work on it,” Lovicott said. 

They are unclear on the amount of students and staff that were in the building, which prompted them to send out the WiscAlert.

The police will communicate with students that need to retrieve their belongings and ensure their research is safe. For now, they are asking for people to avoid the area. 

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