Damage minimal following hurricane
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
Students who decided to try to stick out Hurricane Sandy in their residence halls and apartments last weekend — or those who lived too far away or in the storm’s direct path — were faced with high winds, rain and scattered power outages, but experienced little damage following the storm.
“There was minor damage,” said Paul Dean, UNH chief of police and executive director of public safety. Dean also said some trees were down on campus.
Among the few residence halls that lost power were SERC A, B, C, Williamson and Christensen, which were powerless for a total of four hours.
“Some parts of the quad (were powerless) while they made repairs,” Dean said.
Despite the damage being minimal, the university was prepared early for Sandy’s arrival, including curtailing operations and suggesting students go home before the hurricane hit the region.
According to Dean, the university’s co-generation plant was also under “scheduled maintenance,” which was another factor in suggesting students leave campus.
In an email Dean sent to the campus on Sunday, he said the university and police were “encouraging students who live within a reasonable driving distance to leave as soon as possible if they can safely be home before the brunt of the storm hits.”
The university also warned students by email that if the campus lost power for an extended period of time, the students left in the dormitories and campus apartments would be evacuated and provided meals and safe accommodations on campus.
The MUB, Hamel Recreation Center and dining halls all closed early Monday and Tuesday evenings. Gov. Lynch also called a State of Emergency for New Hampshire, closing roads after 3 p.m. on Monday.
“Approximately 2,000 students remained on campus during the storm, including all of the apartments,” said UNH Housing Director Kathy Irla-Chesney. “This means that over 5,000 left for at least some part of the weekend.”
Off campus, thousands of homes and businesses lost power across New Hampshire – with more than 37,000 still without power as of Wednesday evening, according to the Public Service of New Hampshire – as well as much of the east coast.
PSNH also announced on its blog Tuesday afternoon that around 137,000 of their more than 400,000 customers were without power during the storm “surpassing the peak of 125,000 from Hurricane Irene.”
The numbers, however, do not include non-PSNH customers in the state.
PSNH also reported that the hurricane affected more than 8 million people, from Maryland to Maine, and that workers from around the country came to assist the storm-ridden coast.
“In addition to 100 PSNH and local contractor crews and 100 tree-trimming crews, 80 line crews from as far away as Texas arrived yesterday and will be assisting with the restoration effort,” PSNH said in a press release Tuesday.