University of Lethbridge hit by flash flood

The University of Lethbridge is recovering from damage caused by 45 millimetres of torrential rain which dropped during a two hour period on Canada Day.

The rain caused widespread flooding in low-lying areas of the city of 83,960 people, forcing the mayor to declare a state of emergency.

The university’s 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness was particularly hard-hit by the storm and had to be closed due to flooding.

“[We’re] cleaning it up,” says Robert Cooney, a university communications officer. “It was a lot of rain.”

Cooney says the only the athletic centre was adversely affected by the rain but that many other buildings on campus suffered leaks such as water entering by ventulation systems.

The university is currently draining the basement of the athletics centre and figuring out the extend of damage. “We don’t really know right now, but it is not catastrophic,” says Cooney. The building is newer and mostly concrete. The university does not expect it will take long to fully reopen the building.

Damage was limited by the university’s location in the city. The campus is on a hill and most of the rain flowed into the storm drain system.

The university is looking into costs and whether warranties on the athletic centre cover the damage.