University of California, Riverside

Campus Emergency Status

Flood / Power Outage

Flood / Power Outage

Frequently Asked Questions

Current as of 07/02/08

What happened?

On Monday, June 23, 2008 at approximately 12:13 p.m. a 10-inch water line burst in the steam tunnel that carries campus utility lines. Flooding in excess of 200,000 gallons of water resulted in the temporary loss of electricity in numerous campus buildings, including: Hinderaker Hall, Physical Education, Commons, Arts, Surge, University Lecture Hall, Humanities and Social Sciences, Humanities Interdisciplinary, Rivera Library, Watkins Hall and Keen Hall. The Arts building was most impacted, with water depths ranging from 4" to 4' deep in different areas.

What has been done so far?

The Emergency Notification System was initially used to alert the campus about the problem. Regular updates were maintained on the website.

Accomplishments to date include power restoration to all buildings except the Arts Building; carpet and drywall removal in the Arts building and Hinderaker Hall basement; and water quality testing. Water quality testing for contamination revealed little to no biohazardous risk. There may be other environmental hazards associated with this water being released into the storm drain, a determination which requires subsequent testing. Equipment such as musical instruments, costumes, and the music library were rescued from the Arts Building and are being evaluated for damage.

Summer Session classes were relocated. Updates are on the website.

The University has retained Vollmer-Gray Engineering Laboratories, Inc., a firm that will be conducting a forensic investigation to determine the cause(s) of the accident. In addition to identifying the accident cause(s), the firm will also conduct a vulnerability assessment, and an analysis of our emergency / accident response plans.

What will be done next?

The Arts Building, which was most impacted, is experiencing flood clean-up and power restoration activities. Contractors are assessing the extent of the water damage, and determining course of treatment of floors and pillars that may be necessary to prevent mold growth. A verbal report of the accident cause is expected within two weeks, and a written report approximately one week later.

Who can I contact?

For more information, please contact Environmental Health & Safety by phone (951) 827-5528 or email You may also visit

For official communication, media may contact Kris Lovekin by phone (951) 827-2495 or email You may also visit for the updated press release.

When can we expect to return to the Arts building?

It may be weeks before some administrative staff with offices in affected areas in the Arts Building are able to return according to Physical Plant. Current estimates are mid-August for returning to the first through fourth floors of the Arts building. But the basement will be unavailable for the foreseeable future. It needs to be reconstructed.

How do I reach people who have been relocated?

Campus mail services are adjusting their delivery of mail. In most cases, staff and faculty still are checking their regular phones and emails, and in some cases they are using temporary numbers. Those are listed here:

Performing Arts Administration
CHASS Interdisciplinary South 2107

Tracey Scholtemeyer, Management Services Officer (951) 827-1254
Melisa Vicario, Financial Specialist (951) 827-7803
Michael Molinar, Administrative Assistant (951) 827-4752
Kathy DeAtley, Publicity (951) 827-1254
Benicia Jacob, Music (951) 827-1254
Christina Youhas, Theatre (951) 827-2707
Katrina Oskie, Dance (951) 827-1254
Cassee Cortez, Academic Advisor (951) 827-7044

Art & Art History
CHASS Interdisciplinary North 3008, 3014

Visual Resource Collection
CHASS Interdisciplinary North 3016

Gluck Fellows Program
CHASS Interdisciplinary North 3023

Karen Wilson, Assistant Director (951) 827-3518

Arts Facilities Administration
CHASS Interdisciplinary North 3009, 3015

Paul Richardson, Arts Facilities Manager (951) 827-2675
Greg Renne, Event Manager (951) 827-7087
Mary Longtin, Keys, Facility Access & Scheduling (951) 827-2674
Debbi Trujillo, Administrative Assistant (951) 827-1258
Albert Fetter, Technical Support (951) 827-3869

Transfer Services, Undergraduate Recruitment
1101 Hinderaker Hall

Crystal Boussaksou, Administrative Assistant (951) 827-4567
Richard Vargas, Transfer Counseler (951) 827-4567
Jolene Tuz, Transfer Counseler (951) 827-4567
Gregory Wontorek, Transfer Counseler (951) 827-4567

Will the repairs mean that my department has less money to work with?

No, the university has insurance and damage of this nature will be covered through that insurance process.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Environmental Health & Safety
Environmental Health & Safety Building

Tel: (951) 827-5528
Fax: (951) 827-5122