Après le Déluge

Last night Max, Demetri, Susan and I attempted to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I say "attempted," because just before we arrived at the theater, I received a distressing call for help.

You see, very early Saturday morning, some construction at school required the shutoff of our building's chilled water. As a result, the temperature in our cleanroom climbed up to about 120F. This necessitated a shutdown of basically all our equipment. We thought we were safe.

We were decidedly not.

Sometime from 7-8pm, one of the fire sprinklers in our cleanroom, weakened by a day at fairly warm temp, went off. The amount of water it put out was epic. It flooded our cleanroom to a couple of inches, spraying a couple of million dollars worth of (thankfully powered down) equipment with nasty sprinkler water. Water flowed down the hall, getting into two of our other labs, though not as bad.

I arrived on the scene at about 8:30pm, and we worked until about 1am vacuuming and mopping and scrubbing up what must have been a few hundred gallons of water, and then setting up fans to dry our precious equipment.

The consequences of this flooding will be difficult to assess. Not least because it may be days before we can even begin to try to turn on our equipment and see what is broken, and what is not. It was a great Saturday night.

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