Nov 17, 2009

Staying dry proves difficult

by Amanda Sullivan

Liberty University students walked to their classes under a torrent of rainfall Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as Tropical Storm Ida made her presence known to the Lynchburg community. As students rushed from outside to the safe haven of the indoors, Ida dropped 4.56 inches of rain during her three-day stay, according to NASA. In addition to making students feel a little soggier than usual, some dorm rooms also fell prey to Ida’s storm as many Campus East dorms experienced flooding and leaking. A total of 78 on-campus locations had water damage, according to Maintenance Manager Scott Starnes.

“It’s still affecting a lot of my students, as I’ve had to move several and several more have had to move their things out of their bedrooms,” Resident Director (RD) Kristin Wolfe said. “It has just caused a lot of different inconveniences on the halls.
Also, the night it was still raining it kept a lot of students up, as the water got in the smoke detectors of one of my buildings and was setting off the fire alarms in two different quads until 4 a.m. It’s been a busy week, but my RAs (Resident Assistants) have been great and the students have done their best to be flexible. “

The damage ranged from leaky windowpanes to flooding. The residents in the effected rooms were forced to re-arrange their schedules for the time being.

“I had to move everything out of the main area where I sleep,” Sophomore Cheryl Scales said. “My room is all messed up, and (my stuff and my two roommate’s stuff) is piled up in the common area.”

RDs and RAs were responsible for making sure students had what they needed to make it through the rainy nights.

They also worked with the Field Operations department to help repair the rooms and damages as fast as possible.

“Fortunately, there was a system in place in which to deal with the excessive rainfall. RAs worked with their RDs and Housing to connect maintenance with the right rooms,” East 1 RA Amanda Runions said. “Four of my six quads have experienced leaking. I got one text message that night (telling me of leaking) and that the water had soaked the curtains and bedding.

“The carpet has been removed to air dry in these quads, and some of my students have to sleep on the floor in the common area,” Runions said. “Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but all their belongings are in the common area too. They’re troopers, though.”

The Field Operations department has put together a triage list of sorts. The department assessed and categorized each damaged room, making a list and placing the rooms in the worst condition at the top.

Repairs are scheduled to be completed within the next three weeks, providing that good weather conditions are present, according to Starnes.

To report damages, students are encouraged to complete a field operations work order, which is located on the Liberty splash page on the left-hand side.

Contact Amanda Sullivan at 

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