Heavy rains on Wednesday, May 29, flooded multiple buildings on campus merely a day before the start of Reunions. Beginning in the afternoon and continuing into the evening, students found kitchens, laundry rooms, and lounges covered in up to two or three inches of water.
Outside, cars struggled to traverse a flooded University Place. Meanwhile, indoors, tiles and light debris in Bloomberg Hall fell from the ceiling. The lobby of the Lewis Center for the Arts was flooded, as was the Frist Campus Center’s 100 level and parts of Theatre Intime. Water seeped into lower hallways of the Forbes annex and soaked carpets of the basement of Holder Hall.
That day, the National Weather Service had issued three severe weather alerts: a severe thunderstorm warning until 6:45 p.m., a tornado watch until 8 p.m., and a flash-flood watch until 2 a.m. Those in the area were encouraged to seek shelter and avoid flood areas.
When asked by The Daily Princetonian, Facilities workers said “a lot” of buildings were affected but did not provide an exact count or listing.
Joline Hall resident Sarah Mathew ’19 first discovered flooding in one of the building’s basement bathrooms.
“It started when the rain started pouring,” Mathew said. “It sounded like a waterfall. It was really, really loud and coming in fast.”
“It’s literally like a scene from the Titanic,” Hannah Slabodkin ’21 said, referencing the flooded halls of the Joline Basement. “Maybe they’ll finally fix this place. I’ve lived here this year and last year and these facilities were really gross to begin with, and I wonder if this will give them a reason to [fix it].”
A cappella practice rooms in the basements of Foulke and Bloomberg also experienced flooding. Members of the Tigertones spent almost an hour soaking up water in preparation for a party planned for that night. The event’s theme was “changed to a pool party,” according to Tigertones member Colin Vega ’22.
“We shut the windows as soon as we could, but the seals weren’t effective,” Chris Barkachi ’22 said.
Nathaniel Gadiano ’20 recounted how the group ended up buying a mop from Walmart and used cups to “shovel” the water into buckets.
“It’s a great way to start the summer,” Gadiano said. “It’s a year-end cleanse.”
The University did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.