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Umbrellas don't help much when the floor is leaking.
Martin Lussier/the Gauntlet

CJSW faces changing tides

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Water flooded into the campus radio station CJSW offices and their on-air booth Dec. 17. Station manager Chad Saunders, no stranger to the flooding of CJSW's offices, immediately began an effort to shore up the booth from the rising tide.

"Water poured into six different places," explained Saunders. "It came in two spots around the office: one above our office co-ordinator desk, one spot in our library, one spot in our engineering room. The water got within three or four feet of our main electrical tower which sends our radio signal."

Damage to the CJSW radio station was minimal. Their broadcasting equipment and offices were mostly untouched by the flood, although there was severe water damage to the carpet in the booth. The most worrisome aspect for a radio station like CJSW was permanent water damage to the albums in their library.

The CJSW library, which houses a music collection of over 80,000 pieces, is full of rare and hard-to-find material. Luckily, Saunders said, the water did not end up soaking the irreplaceable vinyl records in the collection. However, it did damage CDs in the library's rock and pop section.

A similar flood in 2001 helped CJSW prepare for this one.

"We set up a makeshift deflection system based on the flood of [2001] using old bus signs and hard plastic," explained Saunders. "Some things weren't protected because one the drawers to the tower was open."

Though damage to the CDs was minimal-- CJSW volunteer librarian Devin Friesen joked that they all managed to stay dry because they were so tightly packed in-- there were still some albums that were affected by the flood.

"About four to five thousand CDs were affected," said Saunders. "Almost half of them were pretty much dry and didn't require much attention. Five hundred were drenched with water, while about 1,000 only had some water that required a drying and a quick double check."

Friesen explained that less than 50 discs needed to be replaced.

When the water began to creep into the broadcast area of CJSW, a call was put out on the air waves for assistance. People immediately came to help.

"We flagged some people down walking in Mac Hall," said Saunders. "Three or four students that had nothing to do with CJSW heard someone say something about helping CJSW, so they came to assist."

CJSW is currently waiting to start building their new space on the third floor of Mac Hall.

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