Strong thunderstorms hit FAU Boca campus

Large amounts of rain leave much of the campus flooded.

The+downpour+on+Thursday+evening+led+to+flooding+on+FAU%E2%80%99s+Boca+Raton+campus+until+Friday+morning.+Pictured+is+a+full+retention+pond+behind+the+softball+field+around+midnight.++Max+Jackson+%7C+Staff+Photographer
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Strong thunderstorms hit FAU Boca campus

The downpour on Thursday evening led to flooding on FAU’s Boca Raton campus until Friday morning. Pictured is a full retention pond behind the softball field around midnight.  Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

The downpour on Thursday evening led to flooding on FAU’s Boca Raton campus until Friday morning. Pictured is a full retention pond behind the softball field around midnight. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Max Jackson

The downpour on Thursday evening led to flooding on FAU’s Boca Raton campus until Friday morning. Pictured is a full retention pond behind the softball field around midnight. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Max Jackson

Max Jackson

The downpour on Thursday evening led to flooding on FAU’s Boca Raton campus until Friday morning. Pictured is a full retention pond behind the softball field around midnight. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Nate Nkumbu and Andrew Fraieli

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By the end of last night’s severe thunderstorms, numerous lakes sprouted all across the Boca Raton campus, including the first floor of the library.

The S.E. Wimberly Library started flooding at about 7:30 p.m., but it wasn’t the only area to form small lakes and ponds. Florida Atlantic employees closed the Student Union early on account of the flooding, and the ceiling in the business building was leaking again as well.

The flooding was not only a nuisance to students but also a potential fire hazard, due to many of the library’s computers and equipment still plugged into power outlets sitting in water.

Photo courtesy of Stella Alves

Snapchat screenshot courtesy of Stella Alves

Tiffany Follin, an employee working at the service desk in the library, said she saw the flooding happen near the hallway by the service desk and the Dunkin Donuts.

“There was flooding here earlier, it’s died down but it was bad earlier,” Follin said.

Chuck Caracovva, a meteorologist for National Weather Service in Miami said that the area around the Boca campus received about 5.5 inches of rain in 1 ½ hours from 5:53 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The rain continued until 8:10 p.m.

According to South Florida water management district, drainage ponds are placed all around to contain excessive rainfall. These are what appeared to be some of the flooded lakes on campus.

Besides the flooded drainage ponds, the parking lot of the University Village Apartments was underwater. The water on the grassy area under and around the grand tree by the social science building was knee high, and the volleyball court and courtyard in front of Parliament hall was flooded as well.

The courtyard between the College of Arts and Letters building and Heritage Park Towers also sprouted a pond, but drained by 9 p.m.

The gym near the Breezeway saw flooding, forcing the building to close early as well.

Katherine Olivera, a senior studying exercise science was inside of the gym when the flooding occurred.

“Someone had told us that there was a tornado watch and that we had go to the lockers inside. Once we got out, the gym from the reception area all the way to the exercise stairs were flooded,” she said.

Students near Innovation Village Apartments who tried to leave campus right after the flooding had numerous car troubles.

A Toyota Camry sits in over 6 inches of water behind University Village Apartments early Friday morning after Thursday evening’s downpour flooded the area. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

A Toyota Camry sits in over 6 inches of water behind University Village Apartments early Friday morning after Thursday evening’s downpour flooded the area. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

I followed two cars out of the parking lot and then the car stalled and rolled a bit. I must have gotten the short end of the stick. The water was up to the side of my car,” said exercise science major Nick Peragine.

He said the only way to get out of his car was by crawling through the window.

Peragine was standing between IVA and the football stadium waiting for AAA to tow his car, which he mentioned was going to take three hours.

Nick Peragine, an exercise science student at FAU, stands by his stranded Volvo after trying to leave campus on Thursday evening. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Nick Peragine, an exercise science student at FAU, stands by his stranded Volvo after trying to leave campus on Thursday evening. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Even while approaching his car, another was being towed away down University Drive.

An email was sent out a little before midnight informing students about the flood damage.

The email said “Boca Raton campus, have sustained damage. As you return to campus, please assess your facilities without compromising the safety of yourself or others, and report any damage caused by this event.”

The Boca Raton campus closed at 2 p.m. Friday due to hazardous conditions caused by the storm, according to an email from FAU’s automatic alert system.

Andrew Fraieli is the opinions editor for the University Press. He can be reached at [email protected] .

Nate Nkumbu is a contributing writer with the University Press. To contact him regarding this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @foureyednate.

Andrew’s warning to longboarders: the campus-wide flooding has brought lots of debris, such as wood chips and dirt onto sidewalks, especially in the Breezeway. Be cautious while riding so as not to donate blood to the sidewalk.