File: UT bus

Students escape the rain on a bus in front of the Alumni Memorial Building.

Recently, Knoxville and UT’s campus have been the center of torrential downpours. Amidst thunderstorms and classes cancelled for fear of flooding, UT students, faculty and staff have been walking around campus in quite rainy conditions in recent weeks, and the rain shows no signs of stopping.

Therefore, we compiled some tips to help you stay dry in the midst of all the rain.

Take advantage of the bus system

This is probably the most useful tip. UT has several bus systems that can take you around campus and the neighborhoods surrounding UT.

The Fort bus runs throughout the east side of campus, as well as through several blocks in the Fort Sanders neighborhood adjacent to UT. This bus is extremely helpful in rainy conditions for students who live in the Fort and usually walk to school. Additionally, this route can also be useful for simply traveling around campus in the rain.

The Hill route runs along Volunteer Boulevard and up the Hill. Seeing as the steps up to Ayres Hall, the Austin Peay Building and other structures at the top of the Hill can be quite treacherous in the rain, this bus is a good resource to utilize in avoiding a slippery fall.

The newly implemented Ag Express, which runs through the west side of campus and to the Agriculture Campus, is helpful for those who normally walk to the Ag Campus.

For students who live in Sorority Village, the Neyland Express is a great way to get to the east side of campus while avoiding the rain.

A complete map of UT’s bus routes is available online.

Find dry shortcuts

There are many ways to get around campus while avoiding the rain. For example, if you’re coming from the Walter Life Sciences Building, Mossman or other buildings on the east side of campus and want to get to the library, enter the Student Union at Phillip Fulmer Way, ride the elevator to the correct level and exit the building at the door nearest the library.

Walking through the Student Union, with its centralized location, can be a great way to avoid nasty weather.

The same can be said for Hodges Library. If you’re walking from the east to west side of campus and planned on walking down Pedestrian Walkway, a portion of your outside journey can be eliminated by walking through Hodges.

Invest in a small umbrella or poncho

With Tennessee’s ever-changing and unpredictable weather, it can be difficult to determine whether or not it will rain, and it can be cumbersome to constantly carry around an umbrella.

However, if you purchase a small umbrella, which can fit into the drink holder on many backpacks, you can keep the umbrella in your backpack 24/7 and always be prepared for the rain. The brand Totes, whose products can be purchased at the Publix in University Commons, has several options of smaller umbrellas.

If you want to be prepared but want a lighter load, carry a lightweight poncho in your backpack instead.

Always prioritize safety

Although rain can be a nuisance, it is important to remember to always consider your safety more important than getting to class on time. If you’re a commuter student hesitating to drive to school through flooded areas, err on the side of caution and remember: turn around, don’t drown.

Additionally, hydroplaning is a common occurrence in areas of heavy rain. To avoid hydroplaning in wet conditions, slow down and don’t drive with cruise control on. However, if you do find yourself in a situation where your car is hydroplaning, do not hit your brakes, avoid oversteering and gently lift your foot off of the gas.

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