This archived article was written by: Hannah Coleman
Students at Utah State University Eastern found themselves facing more than academic obstacles recently. Sep. 22 received massive rainstorms, which, for students, meant massive flooding. At 7:05 a.m. the RA’s sent out a message to gather at the dorms. Water was seeping into dorm rooms and were not inhabitable again until the following Tuesday.
According to Fox13, the Price River became the largest river in Utah during the storms, flowing at around 8,000-cubic-feet-per-second, compared to its usual 3-cubic-feet-per-second. Burtenshaw and Tucker dorms flooded.
Housing director Jeff Spears says this is the biggest flood Carbon County has seen for decades. Tucker and Burtenshaw sustained about $6000 in damages from the water. The drywall and carpets held the worst of it. Spears said, “We have done everything we can to restore these rooms back to normal. That would include safely preserving the drywall and shampooing the carpets.”
USUE student Kyler Atkinson claims this is not the first time flooding has been an issue. “They need to upgrade the drainage systems. It’s not that hard.” Atkinson says the old systems are a concern to students and it affects where he lives on campus.
Spears does admit, “the drainage system for both Tucker and Burtenshaw have been an issue.” Although students might feel this is an issue now, Jeff assures that he has been looking at bids since the flood, so this might not be a worry soon. “We will be working our drainage system for both halls in the spring.”
A positive impact to come from these storms was the community effort it inspired. SUN Center director Terry Johnson sent out a request for volunteers to help curb flooding. Around the same time, the athletic department mobilized its athletes.
Johnson said, “sensing students could use transportation, Scott Madsen grabbed a school bus and started busing students to areas in Price City, Carbon County and Wellington to fill sandbags.” Johnson estimates around 75 volunteers from the university helped fill the sandbags for the community.
Atkinson says about 80 students showed up to help at first. Many didn’t know what they were doing, but they jumped in when they could. The end of the night saw only 10 students, filling sandbags until around 3 a.m. He hadn’t helped before during similar situations, but was ready to step up when he was needed.
Johnson says two years ago Price faced a similar storm with similar flooding, but students were just as willing and ready to help. “I’m telling you, we have the best students anywhere.”