Heavy rains flood campus buildings
Posted Feb. 13, 2009
David deBos
Staff Writer


A powerful rainstorm blew through the University of La Verne Campus last week, leaving numerous buildings flooded and requiring considerable clean-up.

Following a fairly dry winters, the torrential downpour caught students and faculty off guard.

The La Fetra Lecture Hall, Brandt Hall and the Arts and Communications Building were affected by minor flooding.

“Major storms bring a lot of rain at one time. That much rain picks up debris and moves it around, blocking storm drains,” David Koch, director of facilities management said.

Koch estimated that on Feb. 5 the school received about three-and-one-fourth inches of rain, more than the drainage systems can handle.

Koch said an associate found a root in one of the drainage systems.

“Because of the great work of our custodial staff, the water was cleaned up that day and classes were allowed to continue,” Koch said.

“We vacuumed up most of the water and rented dehumidifiers to dry the carpets,” he added.

Nonetheless some wish such fast footwork had taken place before the storm.

Maia Kinsinger, associate professor of communications, was taken by surprise when water started leaking into her office in the Arts and Communications Building.

“On Thursday the roof started leaking at about 4:30 p.m. with a small drip in my office,” Kinsinger said. “By 7:30 p.m. it was a steady stream of water pouring from a hole in the ceiling. It was literally raining inside my office.”

After noticing the water dripping into her office, and before she left for the day, Kinsinger made it a point to move files and other items of value into a safe place, which in the end saved her office from more extensive damage.

“Friday through Monday, housekeeping and maintenance did an excellent job of cleaning up, but I wish they had reacted sooner to prevent the damage,” Kinsinger said,

“I was told that tennis balls had backed up the drainage system,” she added.

Weather reports are calling for more rain in the coming days, with an 80 percent chance of rain today and showers on-an-off for the next few days.

Koch said that he and his staff are prepared for the coming rain.

“We’ve channeled the water around Barkley and the Athletics Pavilion using sandbags.

“There’s also a drain cover we’ve swapped from a high location to another one, which should allow better drainage by the Barkley Building,” Koch said.

David deBos can be reached at david.debos@laverne.edu.

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