Flooding in Sullins Causes Problems for Students

Desmond Perry, News Writer • dperry13@ehc.edu


Caroline Mosteller

There was flooding in Sullins Hall on the afternoon of October 23 to torrential rain and a damaged downspout. Water poured into the dorm from the downspout and accumulated to multiple inches of water in the hallway and in one student’s dorm. The affected student was displaced from their room for the night during cleanup.

Director of Facilities and Planning and Management Scott Williams oversees the custodial services, building and grounds maintenance for the Emory & Henry campus, Intermont Equestrian Center and the Marion School of Health Sciences campus. There are as many as 50 people under Williams’ management in the facilities department.

Williams explained that at some point before that major rainstorm, the corrugated pipe that connected the corner downspout to the drainpipe had been removed. This caused water to fl ow down that corner of the building. The water could not drain out of that area quickly at the time because of the topography of the area surrounding Sullins.

Williams explained that facilities had “attached the corrugated pipe to the downspout so it won’t be easily removed” in the future. The flooding did not cause any long-term damage to the inside of the hall. Williams said “It was just that one corner, 107, just where the water entered” that the water got in, and they “wet/dry vacuumed it up, cleaned it and that.”

Prior to the construction of the McGlothlin Center for the Art (MCA) and its parking lot 5 years ago, and before it became a residence hall for students, Sullins had some issues with drainage. However, the MCA parking brought an extensive storm drain system to the hill above Sullins, and now traps a majority of the water before it reaches the building.

However, there is now a long-term plan for the drainage in that area which will make the system even more robust, and the likelihood of fl ooding in Sullins less likely. Williams said that “our longterm plan is to bury that [the drainage] pipe and put a French drain in so anything
that does come down from the hillside will enter the French drain, [and the] corrugated pipe will be underground so it won’t be as unsightly as it’s historically been.

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