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January 10, 2018

Heavy rain causes flooding on campus

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Heavy rain and warm temperatures causing rapid snowmelt made for sloppy conditions across campus Monday.

Flash flooding in parking lots surrounding the Robsham Visitors Center formed a small lake by mid-afternoon, flooding nearly a dozen vehicles including senior Adam Nadeau’s 2000 Nissan Altima.

Photos by David Brinch and Matt Rocheleau, Collegian staff

Nadeau tried to drive through a flooded entrance between lot 32 and a metered parking lot near the visitor’s center, but was not able to tell how deep the water was until he found his car submerged in around two and a half feet of water.

“I could tell there was water, but I couldn’t tell how much,” said the 24-year-old finance major, who was the only one in the car and made it out safely.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch, which is in effect until 7 p.m. and a flood warning in effect until 7:30 p.m. There was also a wind advisory in effect until 6 p.m. Winds could gust up to 45 miles per hour.

The forecast in the area called for 1 to 3 inches of rain. And, with temperatures in the mid- to high-50’s, rapid snowmelt increased the chances for flooding.

A tow truck driver from Ernie’s Towing, which serves Northampton, Amherst and surrounding communities, said at least 10 vehicles had to be towed from the lots surrounding the visitor’s center. The driver, who asked that his name not be used, said he was also aware of severe flooding on streets in downtown Northampton that caused cars to float into one another.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mrochele@dailycollegian.com.

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