Severity of heavy rain, water leakage, and flash floods affect SMU

DALLAS – Residential commons and buildings across Southern Methodist University experienced ceiling leaks and flooding Sept. 4 after the severe storms hitting the area.

Flooding at SMU
Flooding at SMU Photo credit: David Hudson

Heavy rain and wind emerged throughout the community on Sunday for students and facilities trying to transport home and seek shelter. The storm impacted cars on the Boulevard, and caused power outages and leaking in buildings.

McElvaney commons faced ceiling leaks, rain seeping through a resident’s sealed window, and water pouring out from ceilings in the bathroom, said Julian DiBona, residential assistant.

“It honestly felt like one bad thing led to another,” he said. “I honestly think we as a commons were more so surprised with the weather as opposed to scared.”

DiBona communicated with his commons, along with other residential assistants to ensure that the students were safe and unaffected by the storm.

With communication and safety announcements prioritized throughout the process of the recent floods, SMU sent out severe weather warnings.

“Communication really was key here,” Dibona said. “I hadn’t seen it come down with that type of intensity for a while, so it felt a bit surreal in the moment.”

The commons kept their policies the same throughout the flood. The storm affected residents and citizens across North Texas around locations like SMU Boulevard and areas near Hillcrest.

Commuters and students living off-campus also faced the similar situation of heavy rain, strong winds and hail.

Miller Boyd, a commuter student at SMU, was planning to leave his apartment to study on campus when he experienced a power outage. Boyd was unable to complete his assignments due to hail in his area and chose not to drive to SMU.

“I was just cleaning my apartment when I started to hear a banging noise. I thought someone was at my front door. Turned out hail was just slamming my windows,” said Miller Boyd, computer science major.

David Hudson, a resident at Martin Hall, was biking on campus during the time of the storm. He took immediate shelter in Hillcrest Parking Center.

The flood covered the grass of the Boulevard ranging to Perkins School of Theology. A car parked near Meadows Museum was half-way submerged in the water caused by the rain.

Flooding at SMU Boulevard
Flooding at SMU Boulevard Photo credit: David Hudson

“I’ve been here at SMU for a while but it has never rained this hard. I never would have guessed that the Boulevard could flood that bad,” Hudson said. “There were so many fire truck and police sirens going off in the distance. It was Chaos.”