Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2010

KU’s Student Recreation Center damaged after heavy flooding last week

Construction on the steam tunnels left an opening that allowed rain to pour into the center's basement.

June 24, 2010


Last Wednesday’s heavy rain caused an estimated 2-foot-deep flood in the basement of Kansas University’s recreation center.

“One of our staff made the comment that it looks like the Mississippi flowing down. … It was a lot of water,” said Mary Chappell, director of KU’s recreation services.

Chappell said an opening from the nearby construction on KU’s steam tunnels allowed the water to flow through a room connected to the tunnels and into the building.

Much of the flooring for the rock-climbing wall in the basement had to be removed, and it’s possible all of the flooring in the basement might need replacement.

“We’re still trying to assess the damage,” Chappell said.

But quick action by recreation center staff helped prevent damage to electrical rooms in the basement, she said.

Staff used towels to make a levee, which kept “the water from going all the places it didn’t need to go,” Chappell said. “They really did save us a lot of damage and a lot of money.”

Once the construction on the steam tunnels is complete, similar flooding won’t be as likely, Chappell said, and they’ve taken other steps to help prevent future flooding.


Randall Uhrich 7 years, 12 months ago

Everything being paved on the hill means that all the rain that falls runs off immediately and rapidly, flooding things downhill. It's been that way for a long time. I lived across from Naismith Hall on West 19th in 1976, when it rained 5+ inches in less than 2 hours. It was such that we took my canoe down the street, but broke it in half in whitewater under a car at 21st and Alabama. It was obvious way back then that the urban planning didn't (and still doesn't) address storm runoff adequately.

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