JDUC fit for ducks

TAPS managers, Caitlin Martin-Evans, left, Dave Wares, centre, and Conor O’Donnell re-create the flood in Alfie’s.
TAPS managers, Caitlin Martin-Evans, left, Dave Wares, centre, and Conor O’Donnell re-create the flood in Alfie’s.
Andrew Graham

Mother Nature made waves for physical plant services on July 16 by drenching the campus with enough rain to cause major drainage backups.

Mac-Corry was one of the buildings worst hit.

“The water [pressure] actually broke the window on [a] door,” said Don Conners, an assistant area manager for physical plant services.

Overall damage across campus was minimal, but Conners said the rain left its mark. “[There was] maybe three to five inches of standing water inside Mac-Corry,” he said.

Gerald Plunkett, an area maintenance manager at physical plant services, said the rain began at 2:30 p.m. and lasted approximately an hour. Flooding occurred 15 minutes after the rain had subsided.

Showers were so torrential that water penetrated the wall-to-wall windows in the Common Ground.

“It’s never happened before,” said Nicolee Tattersall, Common Ground operations manager. She said that even through other storms and snow, water has never penetrated the sealant on the windows.

Plunkett said many other areas of campus were awash with rainwater.

“There was flooding through the street area of the Sidewalk Café and a lot of that leaked down into Alfie’s Pub,” said Plunkett.

David Wares, head manager of AMS pub services, said a corner of the lower level of Alfie’s was submerged under approximately half an inch of water.

“A smaller segment of the floor was flooded and water came in through a pipe and ceiling panels,” he said.

Wares said he and his staff took measures to minimize damage.

“[After] recovering what we could, we set up some tarps and buckets,” he said.

Physical plant services later vacuumed up the remaining water and used auto scrubbers to clean and polish the floor.

Conners said there were no mechanical problems in the drainage system, there was merely an excessive amount of water.

“The storm drains couldn’t handle all the rain,” he said.

“We [also] had flooding in Policy Studies basement level, basement level Mac-Corry, Chernoff Hall at the loading dock ... and a few minor floods in Watson Hall, Dunning, McDonald [and] Harrison-LeCaine,” he said.

Plunkett said financial repercussions due to damage were not likely but possible, because the water reached some of the new furniture in Alfie’s.

Wares agreed financial damage would be minimal, but said he couldn’t predict the potential cost yet.

The campus cleanup lasted several hours. In the Policy Studies building, physical plant services worked until 9 p.m.

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