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The Blue & Gray Press | November 24, 2017

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Heavy Rains Problematic by Mason and Randolph

By WILL COPPS

The rain may have been a relief for some from the record-setting heat, but for others it turned calm nights into stormy nightmares.
“I made my sure my window was shut, buried my head in a blanket, and hoped I wouldn’t end up drowning,” said sophomore Kellie Mularkey, who lives in a room by the tunnel connecting Randolph and Mason halls.

Mularkey had recently looked out of her window with her roommate, sophomore Jen Hicks, and seen water rapidly rising up to their window from the bottom of the outside stairwell. They decided the best thing to try to do was eventually sleep, but it was difficult.

“People were out there with buckets, frantically trying to get the water away from the building,” said Hicks, “and they just kept looking at me.”

According to John Wiltenmuth III, Associate Vice President of Facilities Services, heavy rains on the night of August 20 caused water in the stairwells by the tunnel to rise over two feet, forcing the water under nearby doors and into the buildings.

“Investigation by Facilities Services staff located a number of storm water drains which were substantially blocked,” said Wiltenmuth.

“Quick action upon the part of Residence Life staff prevented further damage.”

August 20, however, was before Mularkey and Hicks had ever come to their room.

A quick glance toward the tunnel shows some recent protective additions. Pipes are rerouting some of the water to various drains, and sandbags have been set up along the top and bottom of the tunnel, with the goal of preventing further flooding.

“I just hope that it does not happen again and I can sleep without people staring through my window,” said Mularkey.