Two firetrucks arrive at International Village before sunrise to assess the situation.
At 5:25 on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 21, students in Northeastern University’s International Village residence hall were jarred awake by an unprompted alarm. A prerecorded voice message filled every room and hallway in the building complex, informing groggy  students of an ongoing emergency. Though the message repeated itself three times, it only left students with more questions -- it simply stated that there was an emergency and that those on the affected floors would hear another announcement with instructions on the next steps to take.
The problem was, however, that not all the affected floors heard that announcement. I myself was awoken in my 12th-floor room of the IV West building by the first announcements, though I never heard another word from the PA system. 
But on the other side of the courtyard in IV East, Matthew Hersey had a different experience. He, too, heard the initial announcements, but after they stopped he dragged himself out of bed and over to his 17th-floor window. From his room, Matthew has a perfect view of the IV West and the pools of water that were rapidly filling the elevator lobbies of its 10th through 14th floors. He correctly guessed that there was flooding coming from IV West’s 14th floor, and after he informed me of this over text, I, too, dragged myself out of bed once I finally became aware of a faint trickling sound coming from my bathroom. I soon found myself standing at the banks of a quickly growing pool of water that had clear intentions on marching deeper into my room.
Students were relocated to a Northeastern-owned building across the street
Suited up in boots, baggy sweatpants, a flannel shirt and cowlicks, I ran cautiously down 12 flights of dripping staircases. International Village’s lobby was deserted, save a single RA who waited with a clipboard near the buildings doors. He shepherding students into One Renaissance Park, a Northeastern-owned administrative building across the street. Here, NUPD officers briefed students as they received more information via walkie-talkie from neon-vested men working to resolve the issue inside IV. 
As the sun began to peek up over the horizon, more and more students were let back up to their rooms until 7 a.m., when the few of us whose rooms had flooded were corralled into a classroom in the basement of IV and told we could finally return to our rooms in a few hours. 
The most concerning aspect of the whole ordeal was how uninformed the student residents of International Village were. Many students were never told what the emergency actually was, and I only learned that we were supposed to evacuate when I ran into a firefighter on the stairs. And even some students, like IV East resident Kai Tsao, slept through the whole thing, only to hear about it after waking up from a refreshing full night’s sleep.
An NUPD officer answers the questions of groggy and confused students in the lobby of One Renaissance Park
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