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Sudden showers catch campus off guard

Sept. 19, 1996

How high's the water, mama?

by Hollye Hodges

Lariat contributor

As the sky turned from blue to black and the sun disappeared behind a blanket of storm clouds, the daylight hours after 3p.m., along with many computer services and scheduled campus activities, were lost in the darkness of the storm Wednesday that hit the University.

'In our network, there are 40 zones of computers; 12 of them went down because of lightning hitting the equipment,' said Dr. Don Hardcastle, director of Center for Computing and Information Systems. 'The storms usually affect the network, but most of the time it isn't this bad. However, restoring networked computers can be done simply by turning the power off and back on at the server.'

Tidwell Bible Building was the hardest hit, and Hardcastle said he predicts that some of the equipment may be beyond repair.

The administrative computers that store information about students, which are usually backed up by motor generators, were hit by the storm and went down for 20 minutes because the back up generators were broken, he said.

In addition to administrative inconveniences, students were also affected by the storm.

Rachel Slager, a Brownsville senior, and her audio production partner Jennifer Robbins, a Clinton, Mass., junior, lost most of their audio project when the power went out.

'Jen was more upset than I was because she had been working on it for about an hour and a half,' Slager said. 'It will probably take me about an hour and a half to redo what was lost with the power outage.'

KWBU lost power twice. The result was about 10 seconds of dead air each time.

Disc jockeys Tim Wall, an Oklahoma City senior, and Eric Overholt, an Oklahoma City junior, said it caught them off guard but all they had to do to resume their broadcast was turn on the soundboard and press play.

Floors in Moody Memorial Library, Jesse H. Jones Library, Armstrong Browning Library, Carroll Science Building and the Bill Daniel Student Center were under several inches of water, and cleaning crews worked well past 7 p.m. to try to soak up the water.

Residents of The Village III apartments were forced to move their cars to Village I and II because of rising water from the creek that is located near it.

Although the storm affected everyone, Charles Cannon, a LaMarque graduate student, expressed a simple but common concern of students who were caught in the rain.

Cannon said, 'I had to walk across campus in the rain, and I got my Cole-Haan loafers wet.'

Chelsa Dunn/ The LariatThe waters in the Waco Creek race past Jamie Alexander, a Waco sophomore.

Jenny Bourn/ The LariatNot even the trusty trolley was immune to the flash flood. It eventually was towed away from campus by a Waco Transit bus.

No rainy day is complete without a game of mud football and a crushing dog pile at Minglewood Bowl.

Not everyone enjoyed the rainfall. A worker cleans the carpets in Moody Memorial Library from the water that seeped in.

Students at the Hudson Memorial Bear Plaza watch the debris swirling along in Waco Creek.

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