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"The Lab has Flooded"

BRL and flooding.  The two were synonymous while the lab was housed in the old Electrical Engineering Annex, a casualty of the renovation of the engineering campus during 1993-1994.  The EE Annex butted up against the famed Boneyard Creek, world-renowned for its inability to cope with excessive amounts of rainfall.  When particularly heavy rain poured upon Urbana-Champaign the creek would rise high enough to flood the basement of the EEA from time to time, sometimes twice in one year.

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Ah, the good ol' days!
Bob Cicone grins amid knee-high water in the now-razed EE Annex, circa early 90's

It came from the ceiling

With the lab's move to the basement of the $40 million Beckman Institute in 1993, flooding was expected to become mere anecdotes during cookie hour.  But on the night of Wednesday October 29 the water returned, only this time it came raining from the sky.   Apparently a few hundred pipe seal components were done of the cheap, and one directly above BRL was the first to go.

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It started as a trickle, staining the ceiling tiles and
filling up the florescent light-fixture...
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...But then tiles began to disintegrate, and a stream of water
cascaded down, threatening to destroy irreplaceable equipment below...
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Make-shift flood control to save the DAEDAL until some plastic could be located
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Wet telephone lines!
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O&M to the rescue!
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Security surveys the scene

So, the all-important DAEDAL acquisition system escaped injury, and the leak was fixed.  It took two days of work because it was in a tricky position.  Of course, this is just the beginning because there are over a hundred more of these bad pipe connections throughout Beckman, so expect a few more episodes like this in the coming months and years, so stay tuned!

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Nothing was harmed this time around

Page created:   11/1/97