Following the effects of El Niño on Northern California, students at Stanford have felt the effects of increased precipitation, high levels of wind, a power outage on Tuesday morning and thunderstorms with lightning strikes in close proximity to campus. Several dorms on campus have experienced flooding, and campus maintenance crews have been working to drain water and keep areas dry.
In Casa Zapata in Stern Hall, basement flooding from the recent rains affected the study rooms and the computer cluster.
“There was a good deal of water on the floors, and a crew is in the basement working on drying things out and cleaning up the carpet,” wrote Chris Gonzalez Clarke, resident fellow in Casa Zapata, in an e-mail to The Daily. “For now, it’s not usable. This has happened for several years in a row.”
Students living in Enchanted Broccoli Forest (EBF) were evacuated at approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday after rainwater flooded steam lines in the house, creating condensation on the pipes and leading to increased heat. The temperatures grew hotter than the building, causing one ceiling sprinkler to go off and students to evacuate during what many believed to be a fire drill.
Crews worked to drain the flooded areas, which included the kitchen. Lake Lagunita, located near EBF, is also currently filling with rain — at uncharacteristically high levels for this time of year.
“When she [Mother Nature] takes control, she takes control,” said one crew member in the Stanford Environmental Health and Safety Office who was working to drain the steam lines at EBF. “When the weather gets going, you can’t stop a thing.”
The crewmember, however, added that this type of flooding and steam line problem was not uncommon. And Housing said the campus has experienced very little flooding overall.
“The water intrusion there [Stern Hall] has been limited to common spaces and storage rooms in the basement,” said Rodger Whitney, executive director of Student Housing. “No student rooms have been impacted. The water has been pumped out of the building and equipment set up to dry the areas.”
According to the National Weather Service forecast for the Stanford area, there is a 100 percent chance of precipitation today and the possibility of another thunderstorm. The chances of rain decrease through the remainder of the week.