Rainstorm causes flash flood on campus

Emerson, Royal Brougham experience flooding issues with major rainfall

Kyle Morrison, Kit Nowicki, and Marissa Lordahl

An atmospheric river hovered over Seattle the morning of Thursday, Sept. 24, bringing heavy rain that initiated flooding in Emerson, Royal Brougham, and Gwinn.

Roads and sidewalks near Emerson and Brougham could have been mistaken for flowing bodies of water at the peak of the downpour.

The flooding disrupted operations across campus, as residents on the lower parts of Emerson were forced to move, people in Royal Brougham were forced to evacuate, and Gwinn lines were rerouted to avoid wet floors. 

Freshmen Rebecca Hodges and Stormy McKee were forced to take all their belongings and evacuate their room because of the flooding. 

“At first I thought it was water from outside, but then I realized it was this big puddle of water,” said Mckee

“I heard her splashing the water with her feet, and I’m like, the wires, we need to get the wires off the floor,” Hodges continued. “We picked up all the cords off the floor and picked up pretty much everything off the floor and it [the water] went like halfway through the room.”

Hodges and Mckee had already been evacuated once due to COVID protocol, because they had come in close contact with someone who had tested positive on campus. They are now living on the second floor of Emerson.

As water flooded Royal Brougham, student athlete’s practices were canceled as facilities became unusable.

One of the most affected sports was rowing. The shellhouse, where they store their equipment,  was flooded with high levels of water.

“A bit of our equipment had to be relocated, so we are still trying to figure out when we can practice again,” Rower Roxy Ruther explained. “We haven’t gotten any updates about our practice tomorrow morning.”

Junior Faith Stehr was working in the athletic office when the flooding started. She and other members of the athletic staff had to tread through as high as knee-deep water in the shell house to help move rowing equipment out the area. She was then told to evacuate when all non-essential personnel were told to leave the building. 


“They asked us to come down if we could, take off our shoes and socks, roll up our pants, and pull different rowing machines and different equipment pieces out before the water kept rising too high,” Stehr recounted. “At approximately 11:30 or so I was told that all non-essential personnel were told to go home from work or leave Royal Brougham.” 

Stehr also explained that the flooding of Royal Brougham became so high, that water started pouring in from the windows of the weight room and filling the main hallways.

Facilities crews have already begun making repairs to the building.

“We’ll extract all the water, we’ll put de-hu’s (dehumidifiers) in there and air movers to get it all moving, we’ll have it cleaned up,” John Jacobs, a Superior Cleaning & Restoration worker, explained. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article said Ruther was a team captain, however, she is not.