By Bri Hallman
The record-breaking polar vortex during the last week of January, several inches of snow, a quick warm-up and another quick freeze added up to potential flood issues in Findlay. And that can also equal problems for students renting houses in the campus area.
Sophomore nursing student JacquelineWilkinsonlives in a house owned by the University of Findlay Physical Plant on Howard Street. She says it is considered on-campus, but it is not patrolled or supported by UF Resident Life. Last weekend she and her roommates noticed water seeping into the basement walls, including around the electric box.
“The boxes under our basement stairs got wet,” said Wilkinson. “Our carpet got wet too. Luckily, she (her roommate) didn’t have to throw anything out of the boxes that got wet.”
Findlay has survived through many disastrous floods: the first of earliest record at 1904 to the historic flood of 2007 that was declared a civil emergency.
The National Weather Service warned of potential flooding of the Blanchard River this week. Flood stage is 11.0 feet. The Blanchard River was forecast to crest at 7.9 feet Wednesday evening, Feb. 13.
The University of Findlay Physical Plant says it practices flooding safetyprotocol and management.
Associate Director of Physical PlantOrion Jones says they try to align with the protocol and plans of the city.
“We have many plans for the future sustainability on campus,” said Jones.
Wilkinson says workers from the Physical Plant came to check the water coming into her basement earlier this week.
“When the physical plant came to look at it they didn’t make any suggestions, move, or fix anything,” said Wilkinson.
Jones explained the procedures they follow are according to the age of the houses and the maintenance physical plant employees can do. He says they do their best when it comes to houses that are older and have less-stable foundations.
“Flooding in houses we rent is the same as all homes,” said Jones. “We use pumps, shop-vacs to suck up water, and de-humidifiers and fans to help dry.”
“Flooding is more difficult to prep for. We make sure we have pumps in stock for basements and sump-pumps are functioning properly. Then we cross our fingers and hope it is not too bad,” Jones said.
The safety of the students is a top priority for the Physical Plant, according to Jones.
“When the water hits about 12’ over crest for the Blanchard [River] we would start looking at moving students out. It is dependent on location of homes and condition,” said Jones.