Sandy leaves Yale largely unscathed

Damage on Yale’s campus consisted of little more than fallen branches and felled trees.
Damage on Yale’s campus consisted of little more than fallen branches and felled trees. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

After Hurricane Sandy ripped through Connecticut — disrupting power, transportation and work across the state — students emerged from curfew at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning to find Yale’s campus sunny and largely unscathed.

University Vice President Linda Lorimer said the minimal damage to Yale, which consisted of little more than fallen branches and felled trees, is comparable to that caused by a more common “Nor’easter storm.” Director of Facilities Services Roger Goode said his department is collaborating with New Haven crews to clear debris on campus by the end of the week, adding that it is currently too early to estimate the cost of the damages. Yale College and the Graduate School are working to determine a course of action for making up two days of missed classes.

“We were nervous about what [the storm] would do to Yale University and we’ve seen what it’s done to faculty and staff in the shore area,” Goode said. “Yale has done pretty well but the surrounding area is struggling.”

Goode said an “ancient, very large” tree that fell across Grove Street at Temple Street caused the most hazardous damage on campus, pulling down power lines and blocking traffic. Another large tree crashed down onto Hillhouse Avenue by the School of Management campus. In addition, high winds and tree branches broke several windows across campus. Though staff placed sandbags around Timothy Dwight College and Payne Whitney Gym to minimize flooding, Lorimer said the measures were hardly necessary given the mild levels of rain.

Goode and Lorimer said the school is tabulating repair costs and will determine a figure for total hurricane-related expenses in the next couple of weeks, adding that the figure will be minimal because the storm did not cause extensive property damage.

“It was a great case of ‘better to be safe than sorry,’” Lorimer said. “Our emergency preparedness programs and staff made a real difference.”

Administrators still are unsure of how many faculty and staff members are left without power or face significant personal property damages, Lorimer said, but she has invited students or professors hit hard by Sandy to reach out to the University.

As Yale undergoes a swift recovery from physical damage, administrators and professors are working to determine a course of action for making up lost class time.

Yale College Dean Mary Miller and Graduate School Dean Tom Pollard sent an email to faculty on Tuesday afternoon in part to solicit suggestions for the systematic rescheduling of missed classes. Pollard and Miller will announce the process for making up missed class time after a group coordinated by University Registrar Gabriel Olszewski discusses the options, Pollard said in an email to the News.

Normal classroom schedules resume at 8:20 a.m. today.

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