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College cleans up after Irene; storm caused no major structural damage

A large downed branch by the Williams Street entrance.
A large downed branch by the Williams Street entrance.

One day after Tropical Storm Irene downed trees, dumped heavy rain and cut power to many in the New London area, Connecticut College is cleaning up and officials agree -- the College was lucky.

"We certainly dodged a bullet on this one with hardly any damage," Dean of Student Life Jocelyn Briddell said.

Stewart Smith, director of campus safety, said several large trees and tree limbs fell, with one tree toppling into a parking lot near Abbey House, and several buildings on the outskirts of campus are without power.

"Overall, we were really lucky," Smith said. "There is no major structural damage and everyone on campus is safe."

The storm made its way up the East Coast as a hurricane late last week but was quickly downgraded after landfall in Connecticut.

Crews have been working since the storm began on Saturday to clear tree debris from campus. The majority of the campus has power, however Abbey House, the Athletic Center, Benham Avenue, College House, Earth/360 House, Gallows Lane, the River Ridge Apartments and the Harrison's Landing Unit are without power as of late Monday afternoon. The Fitness Center and Lott Natatorium in the Athletic Center will be closed until power is restored.

Connecticut Light & Power, the College's utility company, is still assessing the damage throughout the state and has said power should be restored within a week.
The College delayed New Student Arrival Day, originally scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27, to Thursday, Sept. 1. The delay gave students and families time to reschedule travel plans and campus crews time to clean and prepare the campus. Get the latest storm updates.

Nearly 200 students -- student leaders who had arrived early for training and were unable to go home and new students who were unable to change their travel plans -- rode out the storm in the "plex," a group of connected residence houses that center around the Harris Refectory.

Carter Goffigon '14, a student leader who stayed on campus, said students made the best of the storm. "We played board games, had an impromptu salsa lesson, Zumba -- it's actually been a lot of fun."

Floor Governor Chris May '14 said student leaders tried to make the experience a positive one for the new students on campus. "It turned out to be a really good opportunity for the freshmen to get to know one another," he said. Students who remained on campus will be able to move into their regular housing assignments Tuesday, Aug. 30, with the exception of those assigned to Abbey House and River Ridge Apartments (currently without power). Those students will be notified when they are allowed to move in. Events and activities will continue for all students currently on campus.

All other students should follow the arrival schedule below. Orientation for new students will begin on Thursday, Sept. 1, and a new orientation schedule will be posted shortly. Classes will begin on Monday, Sept. 5, and the Centennial Convocation will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Arrival Schedule (Students should report to the Office of Residential Education and Living unless otherwise noted):

-- Tuesday, Aug. 30: Returning and first-year students can arrive between 3 and 5 p.m.

-- Wednesday, Aug. 31: Student-athletes should arrive between noon and 3 p.m.; returning students can arrive between 1 and 4 p.m.

-- Thursday, Sept. 1: All first-year students should arrive and report to their assigned residence houses. Orientation begins.

-- Friday, Sept. 2: Returning students can arrive between 10 a.m. and noon.

-- Saturday, Sept. 3: Returning students should arrive between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and report to Main Street East

-- Sunday, Sept. 4: Returning students should arrive between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.





August 29, 2011