Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Red Cedar River flooding closes some sidewalks, streets on Michigan State's campus

While minor flooding has impacted the campus, buildings and infrastructure are expected to be fine.

May 21, 2020
A car drives past Spartan Stadium on March 19, 2020
A car drives past Spartan Stadium on March 19, 2020 —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Editor's note: As of 8:16 a.m. May 22, Kalamazoo Street is reopened for motorists, according to an East Lansing Police Department advisory.

Due to flooding on Wednesday, Michigan State has closed some sidewalks and streets on campus.

While they closed portions of street and sidewalk access, buildings and infrastructure are not in jeopardy and the university doesn't "expect significant damage to buildings or infrastructure," according to Fredrick Woodhams, spokesman for MSU's Infrastructure Planning and Facilities department.

On Wednesday, the Red Cedar River reached a peak of 8.99 feet, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

When the Red Cedar River raises to around seven feet, minor flooding begins in low-lying areas. At around eight to eight-and-a-half feet, minor flooding could impact farmlands, athletic fields and secondary roads.

The peak of about nine feet is where the Jenison Field House and Intramural Sports Circle could be impacted by flood waters. On Thursday, it was confirmed that some of the fields were affected by the flooding, including Old College Field and the areas surrounding it. These areas, however, were built to withstand flooding like this and won't see significant damage, Woodhams said.

As of Thursday morning, sidewalks along the river, bike paths, portions of roads and three parking ramps were closed.

Sidewalks between the Alumni Chapel to the Farm Lane bridge and at the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, between the Kellogg Center and Spartan Statue and the sidewalks north of the Business College Complex were closed. Bike paths along the Kellogg Center were also closed.

Parts of Chestnut Road west of the statue and Red Cedar Road north of Spartan Stadium were closed due to minor flooding over the road. Both Parking Lot 67 and 62, the Jenison Field House and Spartan Stadium parking areas are closed at this time as well as Parking Ramp 2 on Auditorium Road.

Woodhams said the university believes the river crested on Wednesday and water levels are expected to go back down in the coming days. Minor flooding is expected to stall out by late Thursday evening, as the Red Cedar’s water level will drop back past seven feet. By Saturday, the Red Cedar is expected to drop back past six feet, according to the National Weather Service’s predictions.

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