MONTREAL - Life returned back to normal at McGill University on Friday after 24 hours of scrambling for solutions due to major flooding.

The streets in and around the university turned into rivers Thursday when the McTavish pumping station broke down.

The water main break took place on McTavish St. between Sherbrooke St. W and Doctor-Penfield Ave. at 5:45 p.m., sending torrents of water onto McTavish for almost an hour.

Witnesses say the river of water was at least 30 cm deep.

"I saw a guy running down the middle of McTavish St. flailing his arms, screaming and I managed just to get out of the way," said one eyewitness.

McGill's McLennan Library Building was flooded, and was being cleaned up Thursday night.

"In the basement of Service Point, we've got the rare book collection and the archives... They've got a lot of water damage down there," said McGill employee Cathy d'Alessio.

Both the Redpath and the McLennan libraries opened Friday morning.

Sherbrooke was re-opened shortly after the flooding, but McTavish St. remained closed until Friday morning, at which point pedestrians were once again allowed to take to the sidewalks, while some vehicles were allowed on the street.

Water left two large holes in the middle of Doctor-Penfield, where police closed the road for fear it may cave in. The closure caused traffic snarls in the busy downtown area.

Jesse Bruno submitted video of the flooding to MyNews

Wilson Hall closed on Friday

McGill University closed Wilson Hall at 3506 University St. near the Milton Gates on Friday as a result of the flooding, but by mid afternoon it had re-opened.

“There was about four feet of water in the basement of the university,” said Simon Limoges of the Montreal fire department. “So we had to use a high capacity pump to pump the water out.”

Fortunately, there was no major damage or losses to the university, despite the considerable amount of water in Wilson Hall. The closure of the building was largely due to safety concerns.

“That led to some concerns about water meeting electricity, not usually a good combination” said Vaughan Dowie, McGill’s executive head of public affairs. “First of all, we have to get the water out, then we have to make sure the building is safe from an electrical perspective.”

Notices had been posted on the building's outside doors to tell students where to find their classes on Friday.

In all eight classes were displaced due to the flooding.