The remnants of Hurricane Ivan moved over Pittsburgh yesterday and dumped several inches of rain across the city.
Carnegie Mellon's campus began collecting water in the morning, and by early afternoon Baker Hall was taking on water like a sinking ship. The rainfall overwhelmed the campus's drainage system, and water poured down the stairways to the basement. A stairwell to room A60 – on the side closest to Doherty Hall – filled with several feet of water. The door proved ineffective in stopping the water. Rainwater noisily rushed down the stairs into the lounge near La Prima Expresso. According to a Carnegie Mellon Police officer, three feet of water had accumulated at the bottom of the auditorium at the peak of the storm.
Central Property Services (CPS) was on site by 4 p.m. with pumps to drain the water out of the stairwell. They also had one pump in the basement wing. By 7 p.m., the rain had let up and the water had subsided.
All activities in the basement wing were cancelled for the rest of the weekend. The extent of damage is yet unknown, and an official from Facilities Management Services was not available for comment.
Marty Altschul, university engineer, said an official list of affected buildings has not yet been made. However, three or four buildings suffered flooding yesterday. Margaret Morrison Hall will remain closed through Monday, September 20.
"[The damage to] Giant Eagle Auditorium will certainly be the longest lasting," he said.
A state of emergency was declared in Allegheny and Butler counties Friday due to flooding.
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