MSU constructs first-ever flood barrier in wake of Red Cedar overflow
MSU began construction of a flood barrier to combat record flooding levels of the Red Cedar River Wednesday, the first such barrier erected by the university.
The barrier, constructed between the river and the area behind the Hannah Administration Building and MSU Computer Center, will protect vulnerable buildings located on the banks.
The Red Cedar River, measured at the Farm Lane bridge, normally averages a depth of four to five feet, Interim President John Engler said in an email to the community Wednesday evening. The river is currently at almost nine feet, and is expected to peak at 10.3 feet Thursday afternoon.
At a press conference held at the Hannah Administration Building Wednesday, Engler said the flooding is the most significant it's been since 1975.
“I wasn’t quite a student then, I was already gone but just barely, it’s a long time ago that we had this much water,” Engler said.
The barriers will be completed Thursday, Engler said. They will remain up through the spring.
The barrier is about four feet high, and two additional levels can be added if necessary, Engler said.
Kresge Art Center, Jenison Field House, MSU Computer Center, the Hannah Administration Building and IM Sports-Circle have been impacted by the flooding, Lynda Boomer, director of planning, design and construction for MSU Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities, said. Multiple parking lots and sidewalks have been closed off.
Classes on Thursday and Friday in the Computer Center, Jenison Field House and Kresge Art Center have been relocated, according to MSU’s website.
Not much can be done about flooding at the baseball and softball fields, which are completely underwater, Engler said.
“I talked to the baseball coach (Jake Boss, Jr.) last night and he said he’d like to have spring training sometime if he can get his fields back,” Engler said.