Students who were displaced by flooding from a storm Sept. 5 have now returned to their residence halls as the University investigates how to minimize flooding incidents in the future.
The flooding displaced students in the basement of Archibald-Bronson in Keeney Quad. Several other buildings experienced water intrusion as well, The Herald previously reported.
The University is currently looking into how to prevent or curtail flooding in the future, considering that multiple buildings on campus house below-ground occupants. “We are taking every effort to determine if there are capacity issues with the original drainage system in light of severe and changing weather patterns,” read an FAQ sheet provided to affected students by the Office of Residential Life.
The Department of Facilities Management “has recently launched a study to determine how best to adapt the original design of (Archibald-Bronson) to meet current challenges now being faced by climate change,” the sheet continued.
Roughly 35 students moved back into Archibald-Bronson Friday evening after the University arranged for them to stay at the Marriott Providence Downtown. Despite the inconvenience of being forced out of their dorm rooms, students told The Herald that their temporary stay at the hotel and commuting to campus went smoothly.
The hotel “was actually quite nice,” said Milan Capoor ’26, who was displaced by the storm. “I have no major complaints, apart from the fact that it had to happen at all.”
Capoor remarked that, while the initial flooding and evacuation from the basement were chaotic, once the first-years were placed in the Marriott there were no major issues.
“After that first day where (ResLife) told us to find somewhere to sleep, I was really pleased and impressed with how Brown handled it,” they said.
The University will reimburse students for Lyft and Uber rides between campus and the hotel, according to emails from ResLife to affected students.
“The hotel was nice,” agreed Marcus Waller ’26. “It was definitely an inconvenience, but it wasn't too bad. It was still only a seven-minute Lyft ride.”
She added that students shared hotel rooms with their roommates, and that the double beds in the hotel were an upgrade from the twin XL beds in Archibald-Bronson.
“They managed to finish the restorations much faster than I expected,” Capoor said. “I noticed what seemed like little to no lasting damage in the room. My stuff is okay — they sent it all back. It was all folded, cleaned and packaged on my bed.”
The carpet in the hallway of the dormitory basement was also replaced while students were away, according to an email sent to the affected students.
Facilities Management “has enlisted the service of a licensed remediation and restoration contractor to address restoration work on the floor of Archibald-Bronson,” read the FAQ sheet. “This contractor removed wet carpet tiles in the corridor and extracted all water present and placed drying and dehumidification equipment following required industry standards.”
The message added that the contractor treated surfaces with Benefect disinfectant to prevent the growth of mold following the flood.
Waller said that while their room overall didn’t have too much damage, there was one piece of furniture that was still wet when they moved back in Friday.
“The only thing of mine in my room that was still messed up (was) this ottoman (and) storage thing,” she said.
The FAQ sent to students also mentioned that Facilities Management would help with any wet or damaged items students found upon returning to their rooms. Waller said they reached out to ResLife to resolve the issue.
Waller added that the flooding and relocation during her first week of college was an added stressor.
“It was really frustrating,” they said. “It was especially hard because it’s a completely new environment, and I really needed my space at that time.”
Capoor said that overall the process after the initial flood was handled well, but that they hope they won’t need to return to the Marriott anytime soon.
“Everything was quite painless for us and went back to normal quickly,” they said. “I'm just hoping that next time it rains, it doesn't flood again.”
Katy Pickens is the managing editor of newsroom and vice president of The Brown Daily Herald's 133rd Editorial Board. She previously served as a Metro section editor covering College Hill, Fox Point and the Jewelry District, housing & campus footprint and activism, all while maintaining a passion for knitting tiny hats.