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Students, faculty awaiting return to UM's Aber Hall following flooding

Aber Hall Flooding
Aber Hall Flooding Sign
Aber Hall Flooding Statement
Posted at 7:35 AM, Feb 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-27 18:29:58-05

UPDATE: 3:48 p.m. - Feb. 27, 2023

MISSOULA - We are continuing to learn more information about the flooding that hit the University of Montana's Aber Hall late last week.

A pipe burst on the top floor of Aber Hall on Friday, causing 115 students and employees who work in the building to be displaced from their offices and dorms. As of Monday, faculty and students are not allowed to return but they will be soon.

Aber Hall Flooding
Aber Hall on the University of Montana campus in Missoula was flooded when a pipe burst on Feb. 24, 2023.

UM spokesman Dave Kuntz shared, “cleanup continues. Folks [have] been working around the clock since Friday afternoon and we’re so grateful for their efforts. So, the worst part is over but now we’re making sure that all the flooding is mapped out and we’re going through and treating all the places where they’ve received the most water. So, our goal is to have everybody back in the dorm as soon as possible but we really need to make sure that it’s as safe as possible first.”

“This was a substantial flood in the building. The good news is that we don’t expect any long-term damage to be in the building, there’s no electrical damage, but it is gonna take a few days to get everything dried out,” Kuntz added.

Aber Hall Flooding Sign
Flooding has forced the University of Montana to close Aber Hall as cleanup continues.

He notes that it is too early for an estimated total cost for the damages and that the most damage occurred on the highest floors. The top floors in Aber are the dorms. Students have a variety of personal items inside their residence halls.

But what if belongings are damaged beyond repair?

Kuntz says UM will, “work with students to make sure that anything impacted by the flood is taken care of.”

However, the UM Student Handbook encourages students to get renters insurance for their personal property prior to move in, stating, "the University as a state institution is not responsible for damage to or theft of personal property on campus unless the loss is due to negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of University agents or employees.”

Aber Hall Flooding Statement

Students have had access to the building since Friday evening, so they’ve been able to get needed items for their stay in a hotel or other campus buildings.

Additionally, faculty are expected to return to Aber Tuesday. “Starting tomorrow, in terms of the business aspects of the building, things will be back to normal,” Kuntz said.

We’ll keep you updated on when students can return to Aber and what the university will do with regard to impacted belongings.

(second report: 2:01 p.m. - Feb. 27, 2023)

MISSOULA - We have new information regarding the flooding that hit the University of Montana's Aber Hall on Friday.

UM spokesperson Dave Kuntz told MTN News on Monday that faculty will return to the building on Tuesday.

Students likely will not be able to return until the end of the week," Kuntz added.

Students and faculty have been able to go into the building to retrieve items and check some of the damage while crews were working over the weekend.

Crews are continuing the cleanup process on Monday.

- information from Emily Brown

(first report: 7:11 a.m. - Feb. 27, 2023)

MISSOULA - Cleanup work is continuing following flooding at Aber Hall on the University of Montana campus.

UM spokesperson Dave Kuntz says some areas of the building were flooded more than others, but the areas that were deemed clean and safe are able to be used again.

Some of those who are either students in the building — or faculty that work in the building — were expected to be able to move back in on Sunday night and Monday.

A total of 115 students were not allowed in their dorm on Friday as crews worked to clean up flood damage.

Dozens of employees at Aber Hall were also evacuated on Friday afternoon after a pipe burst on the top floor.