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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

Rainstorm floods buildings across Michigan State University


Aug. 21, 2015

Last week’s record-setting rainfall quickly left a mix of buildings and vehicles flooded across campus. The powerful, fast-moving storm swept across Lansing and dropped nearly four inches of rain in less than two hours in some areas. MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities is always on standby for emergency utility and facility situations like this one.  Floods are unpredictable and abrupt, but IPF was ready for the unexpected.

During the August 10 storm, campus experienced a variation of issues including roof drains overflowing and leaking, flooding in many basement areas, water backups, drain clogging and more.  Buildings such as Manly Miles, Anthony Hall, Engineering, Food Stores and Linen Services were greatly affected by lower level flooding.

When it rains, storm water runs off roof tops, parking lots, streets, sidewalks, fields and yards carrying pollutants with it. Storm drains, or catch basins, are designed to carry rainwater away from developed areas to prevent flooding, and are not connected to sanitary sewer systems or treatment plants but many backed up due to the severity of the storm.

IPF received 177 calls for 82 different buildings throughout campus and sent out crews to validate the severity to begin water extraction. IPF custodial, Belfor and Young’s Environmental extracted water from affected areas on campus. Carpentry crews replaced damaged floor and ceiling tile among other things. Plumbing crews repaired non-working floor drains and leaking pipelines. The roofing crew followed up and inspected areas that were reportedly leaking through the roof or near roof drains.

By 10 p.m. on that same day, reported areas of water intrusion were inspected and all water had been extracted. Any potential flooding-related issues in or near campus buildings should be reported to MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities by calling IPF Dispatch at (517) 353-1760.

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities builds and maintains the physical environment for Michigan State University’s education, research and outreach missions, and directs the university’s sustainability initiatives and long-term infrastructure planning goals. The unit’s experienced team of professionals keeps MSU running 24/7/365, delivering an immense menu of services and providing expert analysis for university objectives. Call (517) 353-1760 for emergency service.