Flood temporarily shuts down MSU sidewalks

After heavy rains, the IPF warns against walking MSU’s flooded sidewalks


THURSDAY, May 21 — Joggers and bicyclists, beware. The past few days’ near-biblical rain has flooded Michigan State University’s typically picturesque sidewalks. For now, police barricades have been set up along walkways warning potential pedestrians to avoid flooded areas.

After 24 hours of intense damage control from MSU workers, the flood has started to recede. But some sidewalks are still under water and unsafe for pedestrian use. Until the flood recedes entirely, MSU said that pedestrians are encouraged to be mindful of signs and barricades.

MSU’s Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Department said that the walkways probably won’t be clear until Monday.

Sidewalks along the Red Cedar and bike paths from the Kellogg Center to the Sparty statue have been closed following the flood. The sidewalks at the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens have been blocked off. Parking lots 62 and 67 have also been shut down until further notice.

The cause, as usual, was overflow from the Red Cedar River. This flood, however, is nowhere near as severe as the infamous flood of 2018, which The Detroit News called “the worst flooding at MSU since 1975.”

MSU officials recommended that travelers give themselves ample time to get to and from their destination. With multiple pathways blocked off, detours are inevitable, they said.

Workers will continue to remove any debris from the river and work on damage control, said MSU spokesman Dan Olsen. He said MSU’s protocol during weather emergencies is to block off affected areas until it is sure they are safe for pedestrians.

Officials said that it will continue to monitor parking lots and roadways until the situation is taken care of. They also warn against trying your luck on flooded sidewalks. Their website also warned about walking braving flooded roadways and walkways because water depth and speed is often hard to judge on first glance. They also encouraged pedestrians to make eye contact with oncoming vehicles before crossing the street because it is harder for large vehicles to stop in wet conditions.

“MSU has experienced some flooding along the Red Cedar River throughout campus, but it remains that there is no significant impact to our buildings or infrastructure,” said Olsen. “We encourage those visiting our campus to continue maintaining proper social distancing and avoid areas with standing water.”


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