Remnants of Hurricane Harvey hit WKU, causes flooding

Madalynn Alt, a freshman from Gettysburg, Pa, walks back from classes with Molly Pretty of Hart County, Ky. Hilltoppers experienced rain and cloudy skies Friday, Sept. 1 as Hurricane Harvey moved over the Midwest. GRACE PRITCHETT/HERALD

Griffin Fletcher

Hurricane Harvey left its mark on the Bowling Green area this past weekend.

According to the Kentucky Mesonet of WKU, between Friday, Sept. 1 and early Saturday, Sept. 2, Warren County received 5.44 inches of rain.

Several WKU facilities were impacted by the rainfall.

Chief Facilities Officer Bryan Russell said Raymond Cravens Library was one of the most affected areas.

Due to groundwater seepage from a wet weather spring, the first floor of the library was flooded with an inch and a half of water by 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning. The floor is unoccupied and nothing was severely damaged.

Russell said similar flooding occurred in the same area of the library in 2010, and several projects have improved the issue, but were unsuccessful in fully preventing flooding. More prevention projects are underway.

Henry Hardin Cherry Hall, which has flooded in the past, was largely improved by similar prevention procedures. Rain seepage from a window well managed to flood one room in Cherry Hall, but Russell believes prevention project results were overwhelmingly “positive.”

The WKU Academic Complex also experienced window seepage but will not require any serious repairs.

The Adams-Whitaker Student Publications Center was affected by a previously undiscovered roof leak, but Russell did not know if anything was seriously damaged.

Restoration service SERVPRO of Warren County dehumidified affected areas across campus on Saturday and resolved the issue.

Aside from the rainfall, Southwest Hall experienced a pipeline burst on Saturday morning that Russell views as more catastrophic than anything Hurricane Harvey caused in Bowling Green.

“It was a mess,” Russell said. “Southwest was devastating.”

Student rooms across the West Wing of the Hall flooded and resulted in various ruined items.

Russell is unsure of how affected students will be refunded, but is appreciative of all students and faculty who worked together this weekend.

“Everywhere that I went to, everyone was hands on deck,” Russell said, expressing his gratitude. “I’m very thankful that we had as little damage as we did.”