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EDITORIAL: Floods? Snow? Ice? Bloomington just can’t handle it



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The Jordan River overflows onto Indiana Avenue on Feb. 7 behind Franklin Hall. The street was blocked off due to flooding.  Alex Deryn Buy Photos

It's no secret — we've endured a horrible season for weather on campus. Each day has been its own opportunity for students to prove their fortitude in these awful conditions. 

The city probably has an even harder time addressing these hardships. Bloomington struggles with handling extreme weather, be it floods, ice or snow.

Wednesday greeted students with sirens, a number of walkways and roads becoming inaccessible and a Dunn Meadow that was largely submerged. Those who didn’t seek immediate cover were either left drenched or, in at least one case, made their way down the Jordan River via a giant inflatable duck

This was all pretty laughable at first, but quickly became known colloquially as the “Great Flood of 2019.” Not to discount the work put forth by law enforcement, firefighters and various others involved with alleviating weather emergencies, but Bloomington just wasn’t built to handle these conditions. This wasn't just a campus issue, but even Monroe County's schools were affected by the conditions.


A great number of Bloomington homes and establishments are quite old. This is inevitable in a community that recently surpassed 200 years of, among other things, combating the ridiculous weather thrown its way. 

Indeed, much of IU's mold issues have been pinned on leaking within buildings due to their age. By leaching through leaks and cracks in the timeworn exteriors of IU buildings, water can get inside and lead to rapid mold growth.

If the building didn't leak, it could have flooded. It’s victimized staff members and friends. No one is safe from the raging rapids, it seems.

And as soon as rain turns to snow, you better believe that it will induce a rapid shift with pandemonium from students. Classes were cancelled Feb. 1 due to a drop in temperature to a wind chill 40 degrees below zero. This was only the 13th class cancellation since 1908.

Before the final decision to keep students home, the cathartic clicks of over 20,000 supporters of a petition to cancel classes reverberated throughout campus. Unfortunately, many students still had to venture onto campus for either work, club meetings or other obligations.

You better believe Bloomington will not be able to handle the ice whenever these frigid temperatures terrorize campus. While we like to think that preemptive salting of streets and walkways will pacify any concerns of slipperiness, we can never be too sure.

In fact, one of the only redeeming results of Bloomington’s never-ending ice fest was learning about the IU service that will clear icy spots on campus if you give them a call about slippery locations on campus. Pretty cool, right?

In these polarizing times, if there is only one topic over which we can commiserate, it is the onslaught of rain, snow and ice that we’ve all endured in just under a two-week time span. As soon as the next wave of severe weather blasts campus, be sure to watch Bloomington fall apart in its wake.

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