There was a flood on the Mississippi University for Women campus Tuesday, Sept. 2, that left some students temporarily stuck in buildings and vehicles trapped.
Shortly before noon Tuesday a flash thunderstorm created a flood on some parts of the MUW campus that traditionally have problems with water drainage. Students had their vehicles stuck in water that was almost 2 feet deep, and some buildings were surrounded by the rainwater. Danny Patton, chief of campus security, offered advice.
“Never, never drive through flood waters. It only takes two feet to move a car and only six inches to knock you off of your feet,” said Patton.
The flood waters also interfered with campus residents who walk to and from classes. There was no access to the front of Cromwell Communication Center, the home of the communication and theater departments, and students could not pass at the corner of Reneau Hall and the campus library.
“I had to roll up my pants and literally wade through the water to jump in the truck with a classmate. We couldn’t even get back to the dorms for a while,” said Jasmine Johnson, a communication major at MUW.
Eric Harlan, instructor of communication, was trying to leave Cromwell for a meeting the day of the flood. He was prepared for the conditions on campus and was parked out of the usual flood area.
“The university has worked on the storm drains over the last few years, and the campus drains much better and faster than it did when I first started here in 1991,” said Harlan.
Patton suggests that the city and the university both have some responsibility for the streets that are on and surrounding campus.
“Campus drains fairly quickly, so as soon as the storm had passed the streets were almost completely clear within 30 minutes,” said Patton.
Once the water had drained, the students returned to steady movement around campus. Johnson made it to class, and Harlan made his meeting on time.