Flood Closes Iowa State U. Campus, Damaging Some Athletics Facilities


Bob Elbert, the Iowa State U. photographer, posted images of flooding on the university’s Facebook page. (Iowa State U. photo)

Iowa State University remained closed Thursday in the wake of what The Des Moines Register said was the worst flood in the history of Ames. A number of campus athletics facilities suffered damage, including the basketball arena and the football stadium. No one was reported injured on the campus, but the university was forced to shut down by the failure of the city’s water system, which suffered a broken water main.

The flooding followed three days of rain that caused the Skunk River and Squaw Creek to overflow. Floodgates kept water out of many campus buildings, while university football players and others helped sandbag some low-lying facilities.

Once the water receded, the university’s main concern was the Ames water system, which city officials said might not be repaired for several days. A university news release warned people on the campus not to drink water from sinks or drinking fountains unless it was first brought to a rolling boil for two minutes.

“Water pressure in faucets and toilets will remain low, particularly on upper floors in multifloor buildings,” the news release said. Students in residence halls, it said, could use first-floor or basement bathrooms. “Because of the limited water supply and low water pressure, showering is discouraged until the pressure is restored.” Two residence halls had no water pressure at all, and the university located portable restrooms in their parking lots.

The university posted video of the flooding on YouTube, and the athletics department posted video of the inside of the basketball arena on its own Web site.


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