Updates about the flooding on ANU campus

13 March 2018


On Sunday 25 February 2018 ANU experienced a rare event when Sullivans Creek flooded and broke its banks following a torrential and sudden downpour across northern Canberra. The water caused flash flooding in the Inner North of Canberra, including the ANU Campus.

Sullivans Creek broke its banks in several places in the Inner North and the floodwater was moving with significant speed and force when it reached campus. The flooding was not caused by building works around the campus, which were also affected.

Archives show Sullivans Creek flooding the Inner North in 1947 when ANU had only just been founded and the campus was yet to be built. In 1961, Chifley Library was flooded and it has been occasionally closed due to extreme weather events. The library has not previously been affected by major flooding.

Power interruptions

On Monday 12 March the power supply was interrupted to Toad Hall, the Drill Hall Gallery, the Crisp building and the College of Business and Economics. Generators were brought in to restore power. The substation is expected to be back online within three to four days. We thank our staff and students for their patience while the generators are operating. As with a previous power outage the week before this was related to the inundation of the substation, location in Toad Hall.

Flood damage update

Since the event teams from across the University have continued to work to restore services across the campus following the flooding. We have made some progress and are working as fast as possible to have everything back to normal.

While we continue with the clean-up, staff and students are requested to avoid these areas until they have been made safe and reopened.

Chifley Library

Work is still continuing on the Chifley Library. Books from Level 1 have been removed, and work is ongoing to remove the compactuses and other infrastructure. The ventilation has been fully cleaned and is being tested to ensure fresh air can circulate through the library.

Rebuilding the collection will be a long-term project and the University is looking at how to manage this and how to include our community in these efforts. The librarians and insurers are assessing the losses and will develop a strategy for rebuilding the collection.

The loss of part of our collection has been devastating for all of us, but especially so for those who have lost access to material that forms part of their research, teaching and study. I know many of you wish to help and have offered to donate books. At this stage, we are not able to accept donations (as there is presently nowhere to store them) and expect not to able to for a number of months but we will let the community know how they can lend support in coming weeks.

The Chifley Library will remain closed while we continue recovery work from the flooding.  The University is working towards re-opening the library levels 2, 3 and 4 imminently and will keep the community informed of the progress.

Information on alternative places to study or access library services is available on our website: https://anulib.anu.edu.au/news-events/news/update-chifley-library-services-and-collections.

The Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre

Tjabal, which provides a meeting place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff at ANU, was significantly impacted by the flooding. Tjabal staff have been relocated temporarily to University House. We are continuing to work with Anne Martin and the team to help our students and staff get back into their space as quickly as possible.

AD Hope

Level 1 of the AD Hope building was affected by floodwater and staff and students have been relocated to the Banks Building. Level 1 will remain closed for the time being. If you need to retrieve anything from the area please contact fs.projects@anu.edu.au.

The School of Archaeology and Anthropology, which has historically been in AD Hope, is being relocated to the Science precinct.

Melville Hall

The Examinations and Graduations team is temporarily housed in the Anthony Low building but will soon move to the DA Brown building until work is completed on their Melville Hall spaces.

Toad Hall

Toad Hall was also affected by the flooding and carpet and some furniture on the ground floor has been removed. Some of the worst affected areas are temporarily closed off and we thank all of our residents for their patience while we work to replace damaged carpet and other items.


The Kambri construction site is operational again and all project related works have resumed. We are still assessing the extent of the delay to the delivery program, probably at least a week.

We thank all staff and students who have been affected by the flooding and will keep you updated with developments through this page.