(NOTE: This was originally posted on March 7, 2011, at my old blog Berkeley, Naturally!)
Although this blog is dedicated to the natural wonders of the Berkeley Hills and the beauty of city of Berkeley, occasionally I see something on the Berkeley campus that really gets my attention—like a small river of water rushing down the North Gate path at Hearst and Euclid!
(Note: You can click on any of the images below to see a large image.)
Monday night, around 8 pm, on March 7th, 2011, the area in front of McCone Hall was completely flooded:
A huge flood of water was gushing from the left-hand side of McCone Hall, and barriers had been set up to keep the water from running down the outside stairs to the basement area:
The water was 4 to 6 inches deep in many places, and would have been deeper had the area not drained down to the North Gate path. Given the sheer volume of water that was being released, I guessed that the pipe that burst or failed must have been very large or under very high pressure.
Emergency workers were in the building helping to get people evacuated. Given the amount of water that was gushing from the side of the building, and despite sandbagging, I had to wonder if the basement of McCone wasn't completely flooded.
Inside McCone Hall, the emergency alarm was sounding and campus police were evacuating the building:
Most of the water rushed down the path along the Strawberry Creek North Fork toward Haviland Hall, where a very large screened drainage area behind the Hall kept the water from forming a small lake!
This map shows the area were the flooding occurred:
The UCB Physical Plant crew worked late into the night and when I checked the area on Tuesday morning, most of the water was gone, though you could see large areas of debris and mud where the water had swept away soil and plants.
I wondered about water damage to the lower floors of McCone Hall, and gave a tip of my hat to all the hard-working, dedicated folks who responded to this mini-disaster and who work so hard to keep the Berkeley campus beautiful and safe.