Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Weather Trouble – Flooding in Prentiss-Lucas on Oct. 24

Elly Herrick
During Thursday night on Oct. 24., the amount of rain was so drastic, an email was sent out to students about relocating their cars in the gravel lot due to ankle high rain fall. Students stood outside of the Quad and Prentiss- Lucas hoping to get soaked from cars passing by. The next day, the volleyball courts in front of PL are proof of that. Students have called it the ‘PL Pool”.

Rain pounds down on the roof of the Prentiss-Lucas dorms. Wind is whipping leaves off of trees, slamming them down with the torrential downpours. They clogged the roof drains, leading to facilities being called into action to take care of the leak in a swift manner. Due to the heavy rain that hit Winona State University (WSU) in the last week of October, the roof of Prentiss- Lucas, a dormitory on campus, began to leak. This was all due to the fact that it was pouring with harsh winds in the fall, bringing down sticks and leaves and causing a blockage in the rooftop drains. Physical Plant Director, Scott Clark, shared his experience with the flooding.

“My staff try to get up there [the roof] weekly and clear the leaves from the drains and make sure that everything is functioning and flowing properly,” Clark said. “Obviously with high winds and torrential downpours, it picked up everything and brough it right to the drains and clogged them up. It caused the area to overflow and with that it leaked in between the drain and the roof, which unfortunately happens with high winds. It’s not very common that it happens but it does happen and that’s part of flat roofs in Minnesota.”

While this is a part of having a flat roof like Prentiss-Lucas in Minnesota, it is not a common occurrence. The leak that came from the roof happened due to outside forces and the small amount of flooding that did happen was due to ground left windows being left open. Sarah Olcott, the director of Housing and Residence Life at WSU, was surprised that flooding even happened.

“This is the first year it has flooded in a long time,” Olcott said. “The only other water issues I recall are room sinks that had been clogged and overflowed and one winter the pipes burst and there was water in a few of the rooms.”

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However, even though this doesn’t happen often, facilities have protocols in place to help minimize harm. They not only have preventative measures like cleaning the roof drains weekly, they also have measures they take when there is leaking or flooding happening in a building. Clark explained the steps that his staff takes should it happen.

“The minute we find out we have a leak or water intrusion of any kind we send facilities over to investigate it immediately,” Clark said. “We start cleaning it up, getting fans placed, drying everything out to make sure there’s no possibility of mold happening and preventing students from living in their spaces. That’s the first step. The second step is to investigate why and how did that water got there.”

Due to all of these preventative measures and quick response time from facilities, damage is generally minimal. The efforts of the facilities team to minimize damage ensure that students safety is never put at risk. Even with flooding or leaks being an uncommon occurrence, WSU still has measures in place that ensure swift action. This action is important to ensure a smooth and safe clean up so both students and dorm staff can go about their days without worry.

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About the Contributors
Alayna Majkrzak
Alayna Majkrzak, News Reporter
Alayna Majkrzak (she/they) is a first-year at Winona State University and is a news reporter here at The Winonan. Majkrzak is a CALT (Communication, Arts, and Literature Teaching) major and is minoring in theatre.   In their spare time, they enjoy crocheting, reading and writing. Though, all these activities are preferably done in a comfortable sweater while listening to their favorite playlist or watching Ghost Adventures. Back at home, Majkrzak was involved in their school newspaper for four years, and they are incredibly excited to continue their passion for honesty through journalism in college.  
Elly Herrick
Elly Herrick, Online Editor
Elly Herrick (She/They) is currently the online/social media editor, business manager, features writer, and photographer. Try saying that five times fast. Herrick also works as the Communications Director on Student Senate, a 2023 Orientation Leader, and was newly added on a Tuesday 7-10p.m timeslot on KQAL. They are also the Social media manager for the WSU Pre-Athletic Training Club. Herrick is from Kenosha, Wisconsin, and is a second-year student at Winona State University studying Mass Communications: Public Relations with a minor in Advertising, Photography, and Creative Digital Media. They love following challenging and fulfilling stories. They also have a strong passion for writing and giving others a voice. Herrick loves to travel and over the summer, they traveled to Greece, Italy, and Barcelona. They are now saving up and planning on going to New Zealand this winter with their Aunt. Outside of school, they love taking the train and seeing live concerts with friends. They also love sharks and a good book!    

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