Over Jan Term, an unexpected flood occurred in Lindaman that left offices damaged and required costly repair work.
On the Hello Walk, there is a concrete vault that fiberoptic cables run through. Grass had grown around the cables. After Spokane received massive amounts of rain, ice developed and the water did not drain, said Edward Kelly, director of Facilities Services.
Since the water did not drain, it flooded into Lindaman, an older building.
“A security guard was the first to notice the flooding,” Kelly said.
Whitworth hired a restoration company that specializes in cleaning up after floods and they took care of the damage.
“The flood occurred on a Saturday,” Kelly said. “They worked Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, then on Wednesday it flooded again.”
A faculty member was the first to witness the flood this time and called it in around 9 p.m.
Many professors were affected by the flood; they were notified as soon as the incident took place. Professor of communication studies Joe Vigil was one of the affected professors.
“I couldn’t access any files on my computer, that was probably the hardest part,” Vigil said.
However, Vigil did not lose any important paperwork.
“The most I lost were some drawings on my walls that my kids had drawn,” Vigil said.
Vigil did not feel deeply inconvenienced by the event and said he felt that Whitworth handled the situation well.
“They did a good job of responding and kept us apprised along the way,” Vigil said.
The flood did more than just damage the offices of several professors; it required Whitworth to spend some money.
“The cleanup cost around $16,200 and then there was another $1200 to pay in carpet repairs,” Kelly said.
The cove moldings alongside the walls in every room were destroyed and needed fixing.
Although the flood did not severely hurt Whitworth financially, it put a damper on expenses.
“You never want to spend $18000 for something that is not beneficial,” Kelly said.
Although it came as a shock to many, some were not surprised by the event.
“Things like this happen with a building of this age,” Vigil said.
Facilities Services has taken steps to prevent this situation from occurring again.
“We put a wooden cover on top of the vault to minimize water,” Kelly said. “We also put sand bags on top for extra support.”
This summer Facilities Services will work on a way to raise the vault so that flooding will not be a recurring event.