On New Year’s Eve, the front steps of the PAC flooded with over a foot and a half of water, threatening the $2.6-million facility. After hearing about the flooding, Plant Manager Brien Oliver and Lead Custodian Sergio Gonzalez promptly responded at 6:00 p.m., leaving their planned celebrations.

“We got so much rainfall all at one time,” Oliver explained. “The campus just couldn’t take it. It couldn’t drain fast enough.” He continued, “We’ve never really had anything like this before. We’ve had puddles and stuff like that, but nothing like this..”

Remembering his discovery of the flooding, Oliver said, “New Year’s Eve? Oh, yeah, I was here when you guys were toasting. I was pumping and cleaning up the PAC. We have a drain there and it’s supposed to work but it just couldn’t drain fast enough.”

Luckily for the PAC, however, the front doors unexpectedly held back the flooding. Oliver recalled, “I would say probably we had an inch of water in the lobby. Anything that comes that high is going to come inside, but it went up to the restrooms, and we have drains. Luckily, the PAC has concrete floors. Something like that has never happened before. I’ve never seen it and I’ve been here for a very long time.”

For next time, according to Oliver, “The plan is to keep the pumps ready. Get enough pumps and just keep an eye out, be watchful and make sure all the leaves on the ground are removed. When something like that happens, it’s really hard to say 100% that everything’s gonna go well. It’s just like my home, I get here and know exactly what to do.” 

As for students, Oliver said, “Stay home and safe on the holidays. Don’t try to drive. I saw that on Fifth Avenue, up under the bridge over the railroad track, two or three cars got stuck in the water.”

Ron is a senior in MA and in his first year of journalism. He enjoys writing about technology and the M-A community and working on improving the M-A Chronicle website as Webmaster. Outside of school, he enjoys working on projects, reading, and spending time with friends.

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