January 03, 2008


whewt. whewt. whewt.

Crazy stuff happening today at Metro Hall. I came about 15 minutes late for work and as I scurried along the PATH, whewt-whewt-whewt-whewt! I discovered the hallway leading up to Metro Hall was closed off, a bunch of guys there were doing some mopping. So I had to turn back and take a detour into the Allstream building instead. whewt. whewt.

This unfortunately forced me to head outdoors, which of course I'm rarely ever equipped for and certainly was not today. Since I hadn't planned to go out I had just my thin black jacket on and a scarf. So anyway I ran quickly outside, whewt-whewt ducked behind as many walls as I could to avoid the icy -15C winds and ducked back into Metro Hall through the side door. whewt-whewt-whewt-whewt

To my surprise I was met by a wall of humidity as I walked into the building. It felt like I'd gone from the arctic tundra straight into the amazonian rain forest. My glasses fogged up immediately and I had to stop dead in my tracks since I couldn't see a thing. silence.

The smell. The smell reminded me of something that I had hoped for a long time to block from my memory. It was the smell of water soaked drywall, water seeping through floorboards, joists and concrete. Over to my right I saw a crowd of about 150 people lined up in front of the freight elevator with another 150 people standing around hoping to wait it out. Over to my left, I saw what had happened. It seems some kind of pipe had bursted, and was now pouring down into the main front entrance of the building. It appeared to be hot water, because it was steaming up the entire foyer. If you've ever seen Metro Hall, you'll know how much steam is required to fill the foyer.. it's huge. There had to be a foot of water, and it was pouring down, like a water fall. Metro Hall had turned into Metro Falls. You'd think with a building full of engineers, someone might have turned off the main valve by now?

whewt-whewtwhewt-whewt I gave my boss a call and he said to just grab a coffee and take my time getting upstairs. The alternative to lining up for the freight was to take the stairs, and I wasn't about to sacrifice my totally awesome physique to 27 flights of steps.

I took some pictures with my awesome 2-megapixel phone and went for coffee. whewt-whewt! whewt-whewt!

As it turns out what had happened is a heating water coil had become frozen due to low flow condition, due to the super cold temperatures. It bursted and unfortunately it was almost impossible to shut off because the leak was right beside the shut-off valve was, and the water was hot. No one could get in there to turn it off without scalding themselves badly. What a mess it turned out to be, I didn't get to my desk until about 10:30am, and the elevator power wasn't restored until about 12:30pm.

During the entire time that the elevators were down, the emergency strobe lights (found every few meters on the ceiling), were flashing non-stop every 3 seconds. Very very annoying. Almost as annoying as the whewt-whewt. They even have these things in the bathroom, so when I was doing my business, the lights were flashing. I felt like a celebrity with paparazzi all around me, taking pictures of me while I went pee.

What's worse now is that the hall leading down to the PATH is completely barred off. Apparently water seeped all the way down there and it's no longer safe to venture down there. I heard one guy say "the whole thing could collapse at any minute".

What a disaster.. I'll have to wear a thicker jacket tomorrow. whewt-whewt

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