Contributing: Lifestyles Editor Sage Tokach
It will take about a week and a couple thousand dollars to get the campus looking the way it did before an ice storm took out several trees.
“We are lucky that the only damage we know of so far is just the trees,” said Mark Clouse, director of facilities.
The storm came through Nov. 27 with freezing rain. About 53,000 homes in Oklahoma remain without power on Nov. 30, according to newsok.com.
Clouse said the money for the clean up will come out of the facilities budget and will take about a week for the workers to clean everything up.
“If there are trees that we can save then we will try our hardest to save them but at this point we don’t know which we can and can’t save,” Clouse said.
Lee Brown, risk manager, said workers will clean up then do an assessment with grounds maintenance to see if there is any more damage.
“In the past, we have had a couple different ice storms do similar damage,” Brown said. “Those had greater impact on building structures though so we are actually in better shape right now.”
The campus also lost power during the storm when one leg of their three-leg system shut down. Clouse said workers caught the issue in time to shut the other legs down before they burnt out.
“After that several buildings turned on their generators which kept the power on in certain areas,” Clouse said.
The buildings with generators include Walker Hall dormitory, Oklahoma United Methodist dormitory, Wanda L. Bass Music Center, Clara E. Jones Administration Building and the Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center.
One student was concerned about the damage, but said she thinks there is still hope.
“I think it’s a real tragedy, but like the students over Christmas break the trees will have a chance to revive themselves,” said Laura Jardine, cell and molecular biology sophomore. “The grounds people are my heroes, and I would gladly join them if it wasn’t a liability to give me a chainsaw. I was very pleased to see the conifers held up so well.”
Officials are asking students to report damaged trees that may be hazardous and look for any leaks or stained ceiling tiles in buildings to help determine if campus roofing sustained damage. Students may send these reports to Brown by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org