Thursday, July 31, 2014

Underwater Campus // When UCLA Floods

My poor UCLA.

In case you missed it, a giant water main burst near campus on Tuesday and an estimated 20 million {MILLION} gallons of water gushed out of it in the three-four hours it took for LADWP to shut off the pipe. Eight to 10 million of those gallons were reported to have flowed onto my beloved university's main thoroughfare.

Obviously, as a decently recent grad, I have a RIDICULOUS number of UCLA students as Facebook friends, many of whom are still in the LA area either taking summer classes or interning. Therefore, I heard about the burst pipe wayyy before the official news made it up here to NorCal.

At first, I didn't think too much of it. Yes, the picture in the link looked like a lot of water, but meh, there are always things going on around campus and, let's face it, Los Angeles is a bit dramallama when it comes to any water that isn't coming out of a faucet {AUGH, RAIN. AUGH, PUDDLES. AUGH, SPRINKLERS.}. So I read the short blurb that accompanied the posted article, shrugged, and kept scanning my home feed.

And then people really started posting. And news of the on-campus flooding made it to our local news. Like, opening segment, headlining stuff. And I started paying attention.

My poor campus.

I happen to know several people whose cars were in the lower levels of the parking structures that quickly became submerged by the rapidly rushing water {I just reread that. The cars were submerged, not the people}. Those photos of frat boys attempting to wake-board {skim-board? Are those the same thing? Obviously I didn't go to the beach enough while in SoCal...} down the stairs-turned-waterfall? Friends of friends.

And I thought slogging to class through two-three inch deep puddles of water and forging the Kelton River every winter was not fun. Sheesh. I did always say that UCLA was not made to handle water. I just didn't know it would be made so apparent by this happening. I mean, what are the chances? {Don't answer that, econ/stats majors. Rhetorical question}.

I guess it could have been worse. This could have happened right before/during graduation. Oy. Could you imagine trying to figure out THAT logistical nightmare? *shudder*

As it is, my heart does sink a little {pun not intended} when I think of all the craziness that's going to occur this upcoming school year due to this flooding. All those poor freshies who will have a makeshift orientation/first week because they can't have their welcome-to-UCLA talk in Pauley or on the Intramural Field. How will everyone work out now that all of Wooden gym is closed due to "contamination"? {Sidenote: the only time I ever went in there was during my campus tour senior year of high school. heh}. And Pauley. *sigh* I'm not a basketball fan, to be honest {I can hear Tommy & Stephen gasping loudly right now}, but I still wince when I see the damage wrought in just a few hours. They say the floor was floating. I mean. 

I'm not really sure what else to say or how to end this. It does make my heart hurt that the campus is currently underwater in several places. Some student who was interviewed by the news said that it was like watching your house go up in flames and not being able to do anything about it. And that really does sum it up pretty well. Seeing the photos of murky water just pouring into the parking structure stairwells like a never-ending cascade was horrid.

Upsides to all this... Uh. *sighs* I guess UCLA students' sense of humor got the chance to be on full display. Impromptu waterpark activities were attempted, awkward prank calls were made {with great success-- they were on the phone for a decent amount of time before the news figured it out}, Facebook commentary was hilarious.

We'll survive this. Someday this will just be another legend in UCLA's repertoire, of which there are already so many. And if there is one thing I can say about UCLA's maintenance people-- they are CRAZY efficient. I do hope that the people whose cars were in the sunken parking lots had flood insurance because, wow, who would've guessed something like this would happen? Eek.

Good luck, my dear UCLA, with recovering from this latest ridiculousness. You got this. *fistbump*

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