The first day of school often brings an overflow of students to The Quad, but this year a real flood near campus posed a challenge for those trying to get to class on time.
Around 5 p.m. Monday, a malfunction in the control system of a city water storage tank caused the tank to overflow, flooding Sessom Drive and the nearby university tennis complex.
Tom Taggart, executive director of Public Services, said the issue was with the valve system in the nearby water tank.
“Normally, when the tank reaches the full level, those valves would shut and prevent any more water from going into the tank, and in this case the valve opened and the tank overflowed,” Taggart said. “The valve was in the open position when it should have been in the closed position.”
The flooding was a result of a malfunction in the controls, allowing the tank to overfill, Taggart said.
Taggart said city workers were able to get the valve back into position in about 25 minutes. Taggart said he had no estimate of how much water was spilled.
Tory Plunkett, head tennis coach, said it is too soon to properly assess the extent of the damages done to the tennis complex.
“Right now, we’re going have it wash it off and see what happens,” Plunkett said.
Plunkett said seven of the eight outdoor tennis courts were flooded, but the locker room was unaffected.
Students near the flooding complained that it made commuting more challenging.
“I couldn’t bike around down there,” said fashion merchandising senior Isabella Wisinger, who saw the flooding. “It could’ve made some people late to class.”
General studies junior Garret Glass made the best of the situation by skimboarding on the field near the tennis complex.
Skimboarding is a sport that requires about an inch of water, Glass said.
“I noticed that the water pump above the tennis courts was broken and it was spilling a load of water out and flooded the fields—it’s perfect,” Glass said. “I don’t get to skimboard very much, so it’s a good time.”