Heavy Storms Dump Rain And Debris In Campus Waterways

The passing of this weekend’s turbulent weather system has left Colgate with more than a slightly more tolerable climate to open the September month. The rains, which came with the force of a pair of storms across last Saturday and Sunday, deposited a total of 1.25 inches of the wet stuff, according to the National Weather Service observation station at the Utica/Rome Airport, bringing the total rainfall in August to just over two inches above average. As a result, there was need for emergency construction to fortify the dam responsible for holding back the waters at Taylor Lake.

The outflow dam, located on Broad Street and seen by pedestrians as a short but scenic waterfall, was at risk of damage due to the heavy rains and now stands under construction. It is responsible for controlling the flow of the water from Taylor Lake so as to keep the water levels of the stream that runs beneath the street at safe levels. With the greater volume of water in the lake, there was a threat to the integrity of the barrier, creating the necessity of precautionary measures. A pair of wooden beams braced against the side of Broad Street now hold in place a thick wooden board meant to prevent deterioration of the structure. It is part of a larger plan to maintain the health of this critical dam.

A representative of the Buildings and Grounds office was available to comment on the construction. The urgency of the repairs to the dam were underscored by the need to protect a municipal asset that exists beneath Broad Street. They were concerned that the speed of such large amounts of water could propel an object against an important structure, possibly causing damage. “A sewer line runs underneath that bridge,” said [Thomas Davis???], groundskeeper. “It would have been a problem if any large debris had struck the pipe.”

Consequently, the fields surrounding Taylor Lake, particularly at the area near the bridge on Willow Path, have experienced flooding near the water during the week. Water levels both up and down the stream from the dam are estimated by observers to be as much as twelve inches higher than normal. Indeed, debris could be seen near the flooded banks of Taylor Lake, mostly consisting of disturbed clumps of loose sediment and plant matter, including branches.

The Ultimate Frisbee group did not seem to be fazed by the moist consistency of the fields they are usually seen to play on. “We were about a couple hundred feet away from the overflow, but could still feel it,” commented Atit Amin ’08, who was among those playing on the field Wednesday afternoon. Other common sights of the lake also seem to be enduring the aftereffects well, including the swan pair, Adam and Eve.