Damage costs unknown after storms hit Indiana University

David Shepard removes a stuffed king salmon from his flooded home on Sunday in Edinburgh, Ind. As much as 11 inches of rain swamped the state Saturday. Matt Kryger, The Associated Press

AP

David Shepard removes a stuffed king salmon from his flooded home on Sunday in Edinburgh, Ind. As much as 11 inches of rain swamped the state Saturday. Matt Kryger, The Associated Press

By Megan Meyer

As more hard rain and flooding devastated much of Central Indiana, Indiana University officials are still uncertain about the extent of the damage caused by last week’s flash floods on campus. The rapid gush of water washed out the Indiana University football field and provoked power outages, flooded buildings and temporarily closed off major roadways on and around campus.

Sally Letsinger, a hydrogeologist at the Indiana Geological Survey, said the volume of water seen in June 4’s flash flood makes it worthy to be classified as a 100-year flood. That is to say, a flood this severe is likely only to occur once every 100 years.

Increased development, which creates impervious areas with concrete, hinders proper drainage of rainwater, she said.

After the floodwater receded, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels declared Monroe and several neighboring counties disaster areas.

However, despite the surge in water, no injuries or deaths were reported in Bloomington or Monroe County, public-safety officials said.

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    It will be months before Indiana University can assess the full extent of the damage on campus, said Larry Stephens, director of the Indiana University Office of Risk Management. The Psychology Building and Memorial Stadium were hit the hardest.

    Part of the field at Memorial Stadium was washed away by the floods. Experts are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday to inspect the damage, Stephens said. Repairs will likely cost $50,000 to $250,000, he added.

    However, other news outlets have reported that the repair bill could well exceed that figure.

    The Psychology Building sustained both flooding and a power outage. The power outage is causing the greatest amount of concern, Linda Smith, the chair of the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, said in an e-mail.

    Some temperature-sensitive research material was moved to freezers and refrigerators in other buildings on campus, while others remain in the Psychology Building freezers, powered by generators. Damage to the material cannot be assessed until the building’s power is restored.

    The flooding of the sub-basement, which houses the electrical vault, is preventing workers from restoring power to the building before all the water is cleared. It is hopeful, yet uncertain, that power will be restored to the building by Monday.

    For this reason, all classes that are normally held in the Psychology Building have been moved to other facilities.

    The School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex suffered extensive flooding coupled with a power outage, but a swift response prevented any serious damage.