Damage Report: cones up, power out, pants down

I am at Starbucks. Yeah, I know. I never go to Starbucks. They are overrated, overpriced, and don't even make very good coffee in my opinion. And apparently EVERY parent on the north shore takes their kids here in the morning... huh?? But the Go-Co has no power today, and thus all networks are down. Even here I can't get my email. And my battery still has 63% to go before it's fully charged, which it has to be before I go back because there is no electricity at Go-Co. Well... I guess there's the new science building in a pinch.

I happened to be hyped up on coffee when shit (and trees) went down last night and thus was compelled to run around campus playing private eye. I'm not sure when the adrenaline replaced the caffeine. It seemed like a sweet deal last night, but both have worn off now and Miss Rex is ready for naptime. But before I pass out, here's the scoop:

“It was a dark and stormy night” doesn’t even begin to cover it. 40-50-mile-per-hour winds lashed rain against the windows; students sitting nearby kept wary eyes on the glass. Here in the Fishbowl, Taz and I closed the blinds for protection after watching the glass bow inwards like mere canvas. Then, around 11PM, a tree fell near the chapel, taking out some wires and cutting off electricity across campus.

“We’ll definitely be without power until at least the morning,” Go-Po Officer Cherry said at about 1:00 this morning. “National Grid hasn’t even responded because it looks like a bomb went off in the next town.” Other officials estimate that we could be without power until Friday afternoon. Authorities decided to cancel classes for Friday, February 25.

Because of the fallen tree, the main exit from campus was blocked off with cones and traffic was redirected through what, under normal circumstances, is an entrance only.

Newer residence halls, such as Chase and the buildings on the hill, were fully lit by generators, but the HUD dorms were completely dark. Students living in road halls were re-located.

“We want to make sure all the dorms have heat and fire alarms,” said Cherry.

In addition to the tree by the chapel, a second tree fell on the Emery side of Jenks, breaking a fourth floor window and gouging the bricks. Some of the trunk has been cleared, but the ground is still littered with debris and one branch settled on the roof. Another tree fell in front of Frost. Three more went down beside the road that goes past Drew Hall.

The wind ripped the front right door off the chapel, exposing live wires that officials have since shut off. But most mysteriously of all, a chunk of the public safety building now lies in the middle of the school’s main entrance. No trees fell in the vicinity. “It’s like the wind just ripped a chunk of stone off the building and hurled it into the street,” said one officer.

The blackout brought out the best and worst of students. Some halls used it as an excuse to bond: students in Ferrin had homework parties in the generator-lit hallways and played games in the first floor lobby. Others went puddle jumping and streaking. One account even said that students were looting the dining hall, although this has not been confirmed. Apparently Go-Co students can get away with anything in a crisis, and those of us who are smart realized this and took full advantage. I'm not one of the smart ones.

This guy I befriended during my sleuthing adventure summed it up as poetically as he was able at 2:30AM, after a night that most of Go-Co will find hard to forget: “The wind came through, the trees came down, the cones went up, and the pants went down.”

Now I am going back to sleep, since I got about four hours before rushing out to the only place I could think of with WiFi to break the story to the school paper. In retrospect my mad dash here was pointless because no one on campus has the Internet to read the story anyway and most of the damage is pretty self-evident. It was also poorly thought out because Panera would have been open by now and their wireless doesn't cost money...


Michael said...

I was outside when the wires went down, there was a bolt of lightning, then sparks flew up in the Chapel lot(looked a lot like fireworks), then all the lights on the mini-quad went dark... It was awesome and eerie at the same time...

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