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Mod Lot Flooded After Rain Storm

Assoc. News Editor

Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

flood

Matt Liber / Heights Staff

Last weekend, a fierce downpour covered Boston College’s campus with over half an inch of rain in a period of only a few hours between Friday night and Saturday morning. BC’s storm drain system was inundated by the sudden storm, causing flooding across a large portion of Lower Campus. Water levels in the Mod Lot reached a height that fully submerged the tires of some vehicles, and flooding in roads on Lower Campus rendered some impassable. Water also entered into buildings.

“Water infiltrated into some areas of Maloney Hall on the ground floor,” said John King, director of public safety. “Crews are making repairs.” Water levels on the ground floor of Maloney Hall were not high enough to damage the BC Bookstore, but high enough to require a team to come in to dry out the building. “We are cleaning up water [in Maloney Hall] and evaluating piping options to minimize disruptions in the future,” said Michael Jednak, director of facilities services.

Flooding on Lower Campus is not an uncommon problem. “This has happened before when a large amount of rain falls in a short period of time,” King said. The reason Lower Campus, and especially the Mod Lot, has such issues with water is logical. “The Mod Lot is the lowest point on our campus,” Jednak said.

BCPD took action in response to the sudden flood. “BCPD blocked off roads that were flooded and contacted the State Police to inform them of similar conditions on St. Thomas More Drive,” King said.

Cars that were parked in the flooded Mod Lot remained there for the entire storm. “Several automobiles were damaged from water,” King said. “Notifications were made to some students that their cars had been in the areas affected by the heavy rainfall.”

BCPD has advised students whose cars were damaged by flooding to contact their auto insurance provider to determine if they are insured. “Additional inquiries on insurance matters should be directed to the University’s Office of Risk Management,” King said.

When extreme weather is predicted, BC students, including those who have cars in areas that have the potential to become flooded, are usually warned by the Office of Emergency Management. “If a pending storm is forecast by the National Weather Service, the Office of Emergency Management and Office of Parking and Transportation will issue a warning to the BC community, particularly if it is expected to bring high rains,” University Spokesman Jack Dunn said. “The issue last week was that the high rains were not forecast, which caused the storm to catch the National Weather Service, and all of us, off guard.”

Plans are in the works to prevent Lower Campus from experiencing flooding in the future. “We have plans to make annual improvements to the infrastructure and undertake storm water management improvements along with our construction projects,” Jednak said.

Jednak also believes that changes can be made to Maloney Hall to prevent the building from experiencing water damage. “As we continue to improve the infrastructure and reroute a couple pipes we will be in better shape,” he said.

Although flooding on Lower Campus is not an abnormal problem, an unusual aspect of last weekend’s flood was water shooting up out of a corner of the Mod Lot. This was a sign of how overwhelmed the storm drain system was, as the gushing water was caused by pressure that was created by the large volume of water in the drainage system.

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