Rains from Hurricane Sally affect Augusta University

Drivers navigate Harper Street by the Emergency Room near downtown Augusta during the flooding on Sept. 17. AU suspended shuttle service for a part of the day. (photo courtesy of Janice DeLoach)

By Thalia Rodriguez |
Staff writer 

The remnants of Hurricane Sally hit Augusta early on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 17. Though a flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service, the Augusta University community were surprised when they attended classes Thursday morning.

Nesha Mitchell, an Augusta University IT student assistant, came into work at the Health Sciences building Thursday morning and was surprised at how much rain was pouring. 

 “It was very crazy,” Mitchell said. “People were walking into the building looking as though they took a shower with their clothes on.”  

Students with rain boots came in and took off their boots to dump out the water that built up from the short walk from their vehicle to the door of the building, according to Mitchell. 

“Classes canceled due to the conditions cause by the rain,” Mitchell says. “The water level was too high. People couldn’t leave the building. They couldn’t even walk over to their car.”  

There were some students that could not start their car because of the water, according to Mitchell. The water level had risen and at 9:55 a.m. Augusta University sent out a Jag alert to warn students, staff and faculty about the flooding taking place on the Health Science campus and had to suspend shuttles services. 

“I was not expecting the flooding quite like this and that fast,” says Mitchell’s manager, Jason Leary of Health Science Tech Services. “The only time I have seen flooding like this was when I live in Myrtle beach but without the wind damage.” 

Leary’s family has lived in Augusta since 1991 and has never seen flooding like Hurricane Sally caused.  

Leary had decided to close the IT help desk in the best interest of the employees as the flooding made it impossible to enter and exit the area. The faculty and staff for both Greenblatt and Reese library were told as well to close the library at 5 p.m. instead of their usual later times for the safety of driving in case flooded areas affected their drive home. 

On the Summerville campus, flooding occurred in the west-side entrance of University Hall. About three inches of rain streamed down the steps into the foyer and ran up to the ground-floor elevators. Custodians spent the morning cleaning the area. The floor was dry again by noon.

Water rushes past the steps in front of the Cancer Center looking across Laney Walker Boulevard to the Research Building. (photo courtesy of Janice DeLoach)


Contact Thalia Rodriguez at THRODRIGUEZ@augusta.edu.