Junior Katrina White learned about the flooding in Hamblin Hall basement when her roommate sophomore Elizabeth Bell came in looking for water.
“She was like ‘I’m trying to see if everything is flooded,’” White said. “Then she walks out the front door and we see that the whole hallway is filled with water. It was bad.”
After finding the water at both ends of the hallway, White and other residents began placing towels under their doors and sweeping the water away.
According to the Director of Facilities Scott Maust, the water that came into Hamblin’s basement on the evening of Oct. 14 came from a broken drainage pipe that was unable to deal with the heavy rain that occurred throughout the day.
“The way the system is set up is the roof drains into a pipe and everything goes into a tank inside where pumps pump out into the storm sewer and outside,” Maust said. “One of the joints was busted so instead of sending it into the parking lot it was sending it into the window well.”
Maust was unsure of what caused the pipe to break, but said that repairs were made to prevent a similar event from reoccurring.
“It’s something we didn’t know had gotten broken. If we had known it was broken we would have fixed it right away,” Maust said about the drainage pipe on the west side of Hamblin. “I don’t know if someone stepped on it but it wasn’t pumping as well and the system couldn’t take it. We’ve made repairs and hopefully it won’t happen again.”
Along with the flooding in Hamblin, the basement of the Fitness Center flooded due to the storm drains becoming inundated. Maust explained that flooding used to occur more often on campus than it currently does.
“It used to happen quite frequently, but we’ve made some major changes getting storm drains opened up,” Maust said. “We’ve got sewage ejection pumps that we make sure we check. Grounds goes around all the time to make sure the street drains are open so it doesn’t happen.”
According to Maust, the response to the flooding in Hamblin took place almost immediately. Campus Safety told him about the flooding and he reached out to a custodian and to Building Services to begin the process of removing the water.
“We were on site there within ten minutes. The director of Building Services went in and he coordinated the clean-up with the Wet Vacs and the extractors,” Maust said. “I suppose it was about two hours after I got the call that it was all cleaned up.”
White said that it took two to three days for the flood water to completely disappear. Fans and dehumidifiers were left in the hallways to dry the water that was not vacuumed away. She mentioned her surprise at how there seemed to be no water damage.
“Now it’s good,” White said. “It’s like nothing ever happened.”