The Daily Northwestern

Storm dumps 4 inches of rain on Evanston; many Northwestern buildings flooded

A Northwestern maintenance worker drains the puddle in front of Swift Hall. Thursday’s heavy rains flooded multiple facilities and residences on campus.

Melody Song/Daily Senior Staffer

A Northwestern maintenance worker drains the puddle in front of Swift Hall. Thursday’s heavy rains flooded multiple facilities and residences on campus.

Jeanne Kuang and Manuel Rapada

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An overnight downpour dumped more than 4 inches of rain Thursday, flooding dozens of Northwestern buildings and Evanston streets.

Students at 15 residential halls and 10 sorority houses woke up to find water in their ground floors or basements, University spokesman Al Cubbage said. An unspecified number of academic buildings also experienced flooding or water seepage.

No residents needed to be moved, and Cubbage said no classes were relocated due to the storm.

The Sports Pavilion and Aquatics Center as well as Willard dining hall were shut down Thursday due to basement flooding. Passengers on the Intercampus Shuttle were told to expect 45-minute delays.

Beyond Northwestern, public works crews were working to address flooding in basements, streets and alleys across Evanston.

As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, crews received more than 80 complaints of basement flooding and at least 50 more on street and alley flooding, utilities director Dave Stoneback said in a conference call. The incidents were scattered  around Evanston, he said.

Updated statistics were not available Thursday night.

Water pressure in the sewers knocked Central Street manhole covers out of place earlier in the morning, and Commonwealth Edison workers also responded to morning power outages caused by lightning strikes.

A west Evanston outage near the intersection of Crawford Avenue and Simpson Street affecting 11 customers is scheduled to be resolved by 5 a.m. Friday.

After the heavy rainfall, crews were still responding to storm-related issues well into the afternoon.

A 6-foot diameter portion of pavement near the Evanston-Chicago border collapsed under the rear of a furniture truck.

The hole developed at about 2 p.m. near the intersection of Dobson Street and Custer Avenue, fire division chief Dwight Hohl said.

The seasonal rains likely caused the pavement to collapse, exposing an empty space under the asphalt, he said. City workers poured gravel into the hole to support and remove the truck, which was towed away.

Thursday’s storms not only put outdoor city employees to work but also staffers managing the city’s 311 service. The service received more than twice as many calls by 11:30 a.m. Thursday than it usually gets in a 12-hour weekday, said Erika Storlie, the city’s citizen engagement manager.

Back on campus, Cubbage said University facilities management had no estimate of when water removal requests would be completed.

“On the whole we’re in pretty good shape,” Cubbage said.

Edward Cox contributed reporting.

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About the Writers
Jeanne Kuang, In Focus Editor
Jeanne is a Medill senior studying journalism and political science. Her past positions at The Daily include managing editor and campus editor. The Southern California native is also involved with The Medill Justice Project. She has previously worked for The Sacramento Bee, The Star and NBC Los Angeles. You can reach Jeanne via Twitter or email.     Comments
Manuel Rapada, Web Editor
Manuel Rapada is a Medill senior studying journalism, business institutions and integrated marketing communications. His past positions at The Daily include city editor, social media/breaking news editor and managing editor. The San Francisco Bay Area native is also a counselor with the Office of Undergraduate Admission. He has previously worked for GreatSchools, Adobe and GOOD...