Strong rains flood Southwest Hall

Clare Lowther

When Briana Vaughn got to Southwest Hall Tuesday, the last thing she expected to find was more than an inch of water in the hallway.

She was even more surprised to discover water inside her room.

“It was everywhere,” said Vaughn, a sophomore from Brentwood, Tenn. “It came from under the door, and it was several inches deep . Everything was muddy and smelled awful.”

The combination of heavy rain and construction led to flooding of six rooms on the first floor of Southwest. Water seeped in beneath an outside door.

“We had very intensive rain,” Facilities Management Director Doug Ault said. “Some reports said we had three inches in an hour, and a lot of areas are uncovered so the rain ran off them very quickly.”

There is no landscaping in the construction zone to hold the rain and prevent it from coming in the building, Ault said. He said he plans on having grating installed and sodding completed by the end of the week.

Students affected by the flooding reported damage to rugs, shoes and other personal items.

Vaughn and her roommate, Greenville sophomore Lauren Martin, said the flooding damaged five rugs in their room.

“(The university) says they won’t replace our rugs. They shampooed them and hung them out to dry outside, but it rained again this morning,” Vaughn said.

Maintenance workers began clean-up Tuesday evening and continued work yesterday. Southwest was the only building affected.

Eddie Cooper, a plumber working on the clean-up, said damage was primarily superficial.

“(The water) was gone by the time I got here,” he said. “It’s mostly just wet carpet, from what I saw.”

The university is using temporary barriers such as sandbags and bails of straw to prevent more flooding.

For Vaughn, a solution to the problem can’t come soon enough.

“This is the second time it has done this,” she said. “The hall director said it’s going to keep doing this every time it rains. It’s supposed to rain ’til Friday.”

Reach Clare Lowther at [email protected]