Flooding Causes Damage to Hunt Hall

Flooding damage in Hunt Hall
Fans are placed throughout Hunt Hall to dry the building. (UC Davis photo)

Classes and offices have been temporarily relocated from Hunt Hall as crews work to clean up damage from flooding that was discovered over the weekend.

The UC Davis Fire Department responded to the building just before 11:30 a.m. Sunday (Oct. 22) after a police officer noticed a large amount of water, Deputy Fire Chief Nathaniel Hartinger said. Once there, fire crews found “extensive flooding” on both floors of the building, as well as in the basement, he said.

Water runs down stairs
A still image from a landscape architecture and environmental design social media post shows water cascading down stairs in Hunt Hall. (UC Davis photo)

Posts on social media show water cascading down the stairs and through the hallways of the building.

Crews suspect emergency showers on the second floor were the source of the flooding, Hartinger said.

A 12-person fire crew, plus custodial and facilities staff, spent four-and-a-half hours removing water from the building, after which point fans were set up to aid in the drying effort.

“Students and faculty alike have been very calm, gracious and generous, but it’s pretty upsetting to walk into your office and find everything is wet,” said Mary Delany, a professor emerita who last month returned to campus as interim chair of the Department of Human Ecology. She said much of Hunt Hall is used for landscape architecture and environmental design, so the flooding destroyed maps, posters, computers, records and personal effects.

“It’s pretty disheartening,” she said.

Both student work and faculty research materials were destroyed by the flooding, said Patsy Eubanks Owens, a landscape architecture professor and associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The water caused damage to both the north and south wings of the building, while the east wing seems to have avoided the worst of it, Delany said.

Masks and extra garbage bins have been made available to faculty members cleaning out offices, and everyone else has been encouraged to avoid the building for the time being, she said, expressing gratitude to those who have already helped clean up.

The UC Davis Police Department is investigating the incident.

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Cody Kitaura is the editor of Dateline UC Davis and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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