Rains cause bookstore flood

The Ball State bookstore closed early Thursday and will not fully reopen until Monday afternoon due to a two-inch flood from thunderstorms.

Water overflowed a drain on the roof above the bookstore causing pressure to build until water shot up through the drain lid in the middle of the bookstore, ruining merchandise and flooding the floors.

Ball State bookstore employee Toni Rains said water shot up three feet in the air for almost three minutes.

"It came up the pipe," Ball State store manager Melissa Brinker said. "It was a big gust of water, and in about two minutes we had two inches of water."

Water flowed for approximately 20 minutes.

Regional Manager Marsha Stewart and Sales Associate Nick Wood unsuccessfully tried putting the lid back on. They then threw sweatshirts over the pipe to contain the water flow.

"They stood on it with sweatshirts and there was so much pressure it was pushing them off," Brinker said.

The store lost $5,000 in business because of the early closing. Brinker said she wasn't sure how much money would be lost in damaged merchandise, but said she didn't expect it to be much.

The store was closed Saturday to have the carpets shampooed. Work control will reset the fixtures and put the store back together Monday morning assuming the carpets are dry.

Floors in the store are not expected to be damaged, Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management Kevin Kenyon said.

Kenyon said the hardwood floors in the bookstore are made of a special Indonesian wood that is naturally oily and sealed with polyurethane. He said he didn't think too much water was absorbed.

To prevent this from happening again Kenyon said Facilities Planning and Management will tighten the vent cover in the store.

"We don't take these things lightly," Kenyon said. "We will try to change whatever we can to make sure it doesn't happen again.


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