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CONTACT: Janet Basu, News Service (650) 723-7582;
Lisa Trei (650) 725-0224

Students, staff pitch in to minimize flooding damage

Rising waters early today damaged book and music archives, caused power outages to some buildings, and forced some students out of their basement dorm rooms at Stanford. The campus remained open, but President Gerhard Casper canceled classes for the day, partly in recognition of students' efforts to pitch in and help save books in the archives.

The extent of damage, brought about by heavy rain, has not yet been assessed. Water damage and power outages forced the temporary closure of the School of Education headquarters in Cubberley Hall, the Braun Music Center, Green Library, and the Jonsson Government Documents Collection in the basement of Meyer Library.

Flooding was detected shortly before midnight in Braun; in Green Library, the water rose from zero to 8 inches deep in the hour between midnight and 1 a.m. In the basement of Crothers Hall, water pouring in through vents and window wells sent seven graduate students scrambling for higher ground. By noon on Tuesday, the students had been assigned other dorm rooms, and work crews from the university's Housing and Dining Services Department were helping them move. The faculty housing neighborhood lost power Monday afternoon, and nine students' residential row houses lost power overnight; PG&E crews restored power by noon.

Students in drier dorms traded e-mail and phone calls and mobilized at 3 a.m. in work crews to help library staff haul books and other materials from the basements to higher floors. The materials were packed in boxes to await assessment about the extent of damage and the possibility of restoration.

Other buildings suffered some water damage as well. In addition, two cars were crushed by a eucalyptus tree in a parking lot near the Mudd Chemistry building, and a 250-year-old oak was toppled by high winds near Webb Ranch on Stanford lands.

Peter Harvey, manager of major repairs and planned projects for Student Housing Services, said damage might have been more widespread on campus if not for an extensive pre-storm season preparation effort to seal window wells and other leak-prone areas, plus a weekly "drain check" to keep drains cleaned of brush and debris.


By Janet Basu

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