Flooded walkways, fallen trees, and leaks comprise rain-related damage on campus

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Repairs will require an estimate of between 200 and 300 personnel hours for inspection and repairs following the three storms that have hit Southern California this year, said Lynn Wiegers, associate director of Physical Plant Management.

Repairs usually average between 80 and 100 hours per storm, said Wiegers.

Despite increased rainfall this year, rain-related damage at CSUN is not atypical compared with previous years, Wiegers said.

Cost estimates are not yet readily available, Wiegers said.

PPM has received about 50 reports of water leaks and other rain related problems since the beginning of this year. However, the leaks are not abnormal from those experienced previously, Wiegers said.

Due to the increased rainfall, PPM has made roof leaks a priority for repairs, said Wiegers.

PPM has received reports of leaks in University Hall, Manzanita Hall, and the Student Services Building. However, no particular building has been identified as the most affected, said Wiegers.

“I don’t think there is a building here that doesn’t leak,” said Wiegers. “When you have a facility this large, leaks are not atypical.”

The roofs of campus buildings are not designed the same way as roofs on houses, he said. Because the roofs are flat and have numerous penetrations, such as pipes and conduits, there is always the potential for a leak, said Wiegers.

PPM uses a master calendar that alerts personnel to prepare for the rainy season. In late September to October, the staff checked roof drains as part of their annual inspection.

“We try to take a proactive role,” said Wiegers. “Sometimes it works, (and) sometimes it doesn’t.”

Other inconveniences included flooded walkways.

Flat walkways that run east to west, such as Jacaranda, Magnolia, and Sierra walks are susceptible to flooding, Wiegers said. The walkways were built with a slight slope to help divert the water, he said.

However, because they are comprised of flat concrete, they will still flood with puddles, Wiegers said.

If the flooding were to pose a major problem, PPM would use a pump to drain the water, he said. But the walkways have not yet reached that point.

Saturated grass areas, such as the Oviatt Lawn, the lawn in front of the Music Building, and the athletic fields are natural, Wiegers said. The water will run off the lawn, evaporate, or get absorbed into the ground, he said.

A eucalyptus tree also fell behind Manzanita Hall last weekend. Last month during another storm, a pine tree between Jerome Richfield Hall and the Student Services Building fell due to ground saturation and weak roots, Wiegers said.

No injuries were reported, he said.

Sports events have also been affected by the rain, including the cancellation of three home games for the women’s softball team, said Heather Meyer, assistant coach of the women’s softball team.

Because the dirt on the field has turned into mud, the team has been unable to use the field for practice, said Meyers.

“The softball field was not built to handle a lot of water,” Meyers said.

To prevent injuries, the softball team has been practicing in the Matadome or Activities Center.

Senior kinesiology major Catherine Finelli said that although most kinesiology classes continued to be held, some outdoor classes had to relocate indoors and acclimate the lessons to accommodate indoor activities.

She has however, noticed decreased attendance due to the storms.

Kyle Brown, junior business major, said he also noticed decreased attendance in his classes.

“When it’s raining, it makes it harder to get up and go to school,” Brown said.