MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Rhodes College is temporarily relocating residential students to hotels in Germantown and Collierville Saturday because of ongoing issues with Memphis water pressure.
According to Friday evening news release, water pressure on campus has significantly diminished and bathrooms are no longer functioning.
The school says moving students gives them access to facilities and reduces water consumption on campus, helping conserve as MLGW works to fix the city’s water system.
According to MLGW President and CEO J.T. Young, crews have repaired more than 60 water main breaks since last Saturday, and more are expected as snow melts and temperatures warm.
Rhodes President Marjorie Hass sent the following message to those on campus Friday.
Dear Rhodes Community,
I am thinking of each of you as you adjust to the evolving weather-related challenges facing our city. Character emerges as we face difficulties, and I am in awe of the on-going resilience and good cheer I have seen on campus. Those of us who have been filling in at mealtimes to help meet gaps caused by employees who can’t reach campus have had our spirits lifted by the kindness and understanding we have seen among our students and colleagues.
Memphis is currently under a state of emergency because the record cold temperatures have damaged watermains throughout the city, making water pressure low and even nonexistent in some areas. We are experiencing the effects of severely low water pressure on campus.
We are monitoring this situation closely and I’ve been in regular contact with the mayor’s office and local officials. Officials at Memphis Light Gas & Water cannot provide an exact estimate of when the situation will stabilize, although they are targeting next week.
Based on what we know we believe that, while we could provide safe living accommodations on campus, conditions would be uncomfortable and difficult to maintain for students and staff. We have thus made the decision to temporarily relocate our residential students to hotels we have secured in Collierville and Germantown beginning tomorrow.
The relocation will allow students to have fully functioning drinking water, bathing, and bathroom facilities. It will also reduce draw on the Memphis water supply which will help others in our community.
Residential students will be receiving an email with additional logistical information shortly.
The provost has determined classes will be cancelled on Monday. Beginning Tuesday, you should expect that classes will be remote until we return to campus, but we will inform you of decisions day by day. Bring your class materials to your hotels. We know this will be a difficult weekend for our students, faculty, and staff and we have decided to cancel classes for an additional day as we evaluate the developing situation.
We will keep you updated as we receive information.
Off-campus students who are experiencing loss of water or other problems and need assistance can reach out to us by filling out the weather and water assistance form. Any students in need of urgent assistance can always call Campus Safety.
I have heard from alumni and friends of the college wishing us well and sending love and support to our city and our campus. We are not alone, and we are up to this moment. I continue to think of the Rhodes community with affection and pride.