Late in the evening of Sunday, Oct. 29 through early Monday morning, extreme weather conditions caused severe damage to University housing, including 37 Home Ave., a senior wood frame house, and 163 High Street, the site of Russian House.
According to the residents at 37 Home, around 1 a.m. Monday morning, a tree fell on their house, damaging a power line on the way down and causing enough damage to prompt its residents to leave and find other housing for the evening. The residents of 37 Home do not know the extent of the damage, as they were asked to evacuate immediately after the tree fell.
In an email sent to residents of 37 Home, Residential Life (ResLife) noted that a crane is needed to remove the tree branches from their roof, meaning it will take several days before it is safe for them to re-enter the house.
As there are many students currently unable to access their house, ResLife is offering temporary spaces for students in dorms not damaged by the storm.
“I was lying asleep in bed about to fall asleep when I felt the house shake and Charlotte [Pitts ’18] yell,” Mariel Becker ’18, a resident of 37 Home, told The Argus. “I want to give a shout-out to [Public Safety] who made sure we all had a place to sleep last night and drove us there.”
Pitts echoed Becker’s appreciation for Public Safety.
“But in all honesty, I am, too, incredibly grateful for the [employees] of Public Safety who, despite numerous other and very similar calamities, came to help us within ten minutes of calling,” Pitts added. “And also…in the face of a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, Wes needs to provide alternative housing solutions for students who are forced to evacuate their homes/dorms.”
Russian House was less damaged by the storm. At 12 a.m. Monday morning, a tree fell and damaged their front porch, damaging the house’s electricity line. While Russian House’s emergency power system immediately turned on after the tree fell, residents of Russian House were asked to evacuate until further notice.
“At about 12:15 a tree was toppled over by the wind,” Ronald Kelly ’19, a resident of Russian House, told The Argus. “It hit the house in the front, demolished the…porch, and pulled down a power line with it, which immediately knocked out power in the house. The fire department showed up, as well as [Public Safety], and we were told to leave the house, at about two in the morning, at which point we had to fend for ourselves and find our own places to stay. So most of us slept in [other] places overnight. I believe some concerned parents, who I will not name, made some calls to the school and now we are all being given housing in the Butts or the Nics whatever until everything tides over which should be in the next day or two…. Everything’s fine, no one was harmed. Our wonderful [House Manager], Elizaveta [Kravchenko ’19] was extremely excellent as was all Wesleyan staff involved.”
The damage from the storm is not limited to Wesleyan’s campus, however. An article in the Hartford Courant reports that by 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, over 118,000 people were without power in Connecticut. Repairs are expected to take several days. Many houses were also damaged by fallen trees and flooding.
Henry Spiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @JudgeyMcJudge1.