Heavy rain causes flooding in basements around campus


Tony Robertson, assistant director of facilities, received news at 7 a.m. Monday morning that several buildings sustained water damage.
Within the hour, Robertson dispatched teams to the basements of Asbury Hall, the music library in the Green Center for Performing Arts and the Bishop Roberts Residence Hall.
The basements of Bishop Roberts and the music library both had flooding as a result of Sunday night's rainstorm.
"The basement of BR had about an inch of standing water. The GCPA had a little less than that," he said, adding that the basement in Asbury experienced more water damage than the other locations.
"It (the Asbury Hall basement) actually flooded because of a sewer overflow, not the storm," Robertson said. "Last night's storm left the basement with a little more than one inch of standing water."
The dispatch teams at each location were quick to respond.
"When we first arrived, the floor was completely covered." said Chris Edwards, a custodian working in the Asbury basement. "This happens every time it rains, but this is the worst it's been in a while."
The custodial staff used high-powered vacuums to collect the water.
"We've collected about 155 gallons of water from the basement in the GCPA, and roughly more from [the Asbury basement]." Robertson and his staff then placed humidifiers and fans in each location to help with the clean up. Most of the water was collected by 11:30 a.m.
The flooding in the music library caused the least damage. Misti Shaw, music librarian and rank of assistant professor, received news about the flood early Monday morning.
Damage in this part of the building is common.
"This happened last summer, and we had to rearrange the stacks to keep all the material dry," Shaw said. "Now we keep the bottom row of each stack empty to avoid any damage."
Several students, including sophomore Carlie Vaughn and junior Mary Grady, had to walk down the hallway in the Asbury basement during the various stages of the clean up.
"I was really surprised when I saw the water this morning, but am really grateful to see the early morning clean up," Grady said.
After lunch, students dealt with slippery floors.
"I went down to the basement at around 12:20 p.m. and walked down the hallway," Vaughn said. "It was really slippery and I almost fell. Everybody around was slipping and having a hard time walking."
Professors with offices in the Asbury basement were also affected.
"The flooding is quite frustrating," said English professor Emily Doak in an email. "The same backed up plumbing flooded the basement last year as well, and there have been concerns about mold that moved people out of the basement in the last couple years yet some of us remain there."
According to Robertson, the estimated cost of damage is still unclear.
"We won't know for sure how much damage has been done until later this week, but we're working around the clock to fix it," she said.