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Belknap Campus, School of Public Health closed Wednesday after flooding

August 4th, 2009

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Water on South Brook Street reached the roofs of cars. (Gallery below)

The University of Louisville Belknap Campus and the university’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 5, after a record amount of rainfall left portions of the university under water Aug. 4.

With the exception of the School of Public Health, the Health Sciences and Shelby campuses will be open and on their regular schedules.

During the morning commute Tuesday, as much as six inches of rain fell in a one-hour-and-15-minute period, according to city officials in a televised press conference.

On Belknap Campus, nine buildings had some flooding, and 12 buildings lost electricity. The Houchens Building was hardest hit; about 30 employees were stranded and rescued by the Louisville Metro Swift Water Rescue Team. At least one employee was injured, suffering a broken wrist. Some cars along South Brook Street were submerged.

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A UofL van faces the Fairfax Building where employees were evacuated.

About 20 buildings at the Health Sciences Campus experienced water damage. Six buildings lost electricity. Worst hit was the School of Public Health and Information Sciences, which had more than two feet of water.

Once the storm hit, physical plant personnel, public safety and University of Louisville Police began working to secure the Belknap and Health Sciences campuses. The Provost’s Office set up a carpool program to help employees whose cars were flooded get home.

“We feel fortunate there weren’t any serious injuries on campus,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff and faculty, I’m sure we’ll rebound quickly from this terrible storm.”

Although the Belknap Campus and the School of Public Health will be closed, some employees may be called in to help with the cleanup.

Officials will update students and employees on the status of the university Wednesday. Information will be on the UofL home page. They also should check their university e-mail accounts.

Photo gallery

(Editor’s note: Flooding was widespread on Belknap Campus and affected buildings on the Health Sciences Campus. Photos are from the southeastern side of Belknap because that is where the photographers were stranded.)