Metro area flooding affects campus and services little

Although the flooding from the increased amount of rain over the last week severely affected the greater metro Atlanta area, Tech’s campus felt much less of an impact from the weather.

“[There was] nothing significant. We were really very fortunate. There [was] no major damage,” reported Director of Facilities Warren Page.

The storms started from Tuesday, Sept. 15 and stretched until last Wednesday, and provided the worst damage over last weekend. In the state of Georgia overall, the flooding has claimed ten lives and millions of dollars in damage to property and roads across the metro Atlanta area.

Despite some flooding in low lying areas, Tech’s campus had little damage from the severe weather.

“We didn’t have any incidence of anything you’ll see in the newspapers. We had nothing even resembling that,” Page said.

“There were a few little sporadic roof leaks and window leaks. Nothing major. We were very, very fortunate,” said Area I West Campus Facilities Manager Rodd Hineman.

Of the damage reported, the worst of which was only limited to some leaky roofs and walls in buildings across campus.

“What we had was some roof leaks, some places because of the driving where the water came into the windows, there was no thing that accumulated a lot of water, those types of things,” Page said.

The damage that did occur within residence halls and academic buildings were not large enough to warrant much worry from the facilities department, which generally solved all issues through each building coordinator.

“Most of them were very, very general. Most buildings have a building coordinator. Everything that’s any kind of a problem normally comes through them. Every once in a while I’ll get a call, but most of the calls are to the building itself,” Hineman said.

Of the buildings affected by the rains, the Wardlaw Center, located at the south end of Bobby Dodd Stadium, did report some of the more major damage on campus. Even in that case, the damage was still very small.

“That’s true. There [were] some ceiling tiles that were wet and didn’t flood. It was not major damage,” Page said.

In addition, the Tech police department reported little or nothing out of the ordinary as a result of the flooding. Specifically, no major traffic accidents or other such reported incidents were the result of the flooding in some areas.

Monday, parking and other services still continued running as normal, although Stinger buses did have to traverse to more heavily flooded streets, specifically at North Avenue underneath the Marietta Street Bridge and at the intersection of Ferst Drive and State Street.

There was a discrepancy between student experiences. Co-op and internship students felt more of the effects of the storms much more than students taking classes on campus, especially those needing to travel off campus to work with issues along I-75/I-85.

“Aside from swimming to classes, it didn’t affect me too much, but my friend who commutes went on an adventure on back roads to try to get to Tech,” said Carrie Hsu, fourth-year MGT major.

Affected, commuting students ran into problems such as closed roads and traffic traveling back to Tech late Monday afternoon.

“I co-op and I was worried I’d be stranded at the office,” said Dean Nordhielm, third-year IE major.

Although the severe weather damage was very limited, the facilities department at Tech believes that this situation shows how prepared if potentially something worse occurs.

“We have a really comprehensive roof program… when you maintain things it pays off long term,” Hineman said.

“Our management seems very in front of possible things that could happen. We’ve got a good leadership staff,” Hineman said.

While the flooding made no direct impact on a majority of Tech students and campus, it has affected planned programming for this weekend due to the damage.

As a result of the flooding, however, Tech’s annual Six Flags Night will be canceled as a result of the flood damage and repairs needed to be made to the rides at the theme park.

“[Although] I didn’t hit any problems on the road and I wasn’t stranded, but there was some extra traffic, and canceling Six Flags definitely affected my weekend plans,” Nordhielm added.