Yale dorms, some buildings lose power, flood
Heavy rain brought on by the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused all Yale residential colleges and some other buildings to lose power and some to flood.
Courtesy of Sebastian Baez
As the remnants of Hurricane Ida ripped through New Haven on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, all 14 Yale residential colleges and Old Campus lost power, and a majority of college basements flooded, according to reports from dozens of students housed in them.
At 1:35 a.m., nearly two hours after flooding was first reported and about an hour and a half after most dorms lost power, the University sent out a Yale Alert advising students to remain in their residences unless flooding forced them to relocate and noted that Facilities was responding. The alert noted power outages and flooding in “a number of university buildings” but did not specify further.
University spokesperson Karen Peart said early Tuesday morning that she did not have information to share for this story and Yale Facilities declined to comment. Mayor Justin Elicker and New Haven Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana could not be immediately reached for comment.
Between approximately 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m., power had been partially or fully restored to Benjamin Franklin, Berkeley, Ezra Stiles, Grace Hopper, Jonathan Edwards, Morse, Pauli Murray, Pierson, Saybrook, Trumbull and parts of Old Campus. Some of those colleges continued to experience intermittent outages throughout the night.
Colleges with flooding include Branford, Davenport, Ezra Stiles, Grace Hopper, Jonathan Edwards, Morse, Pauli Murray, Pierson, Saybrook, Silliman and Timothy Dwight. A student in Berkeley College said there were some puddles in the basement, while four students in Trumbull College said they did not see any major flooding. One student sent a video to the News of significant flooding outside of Benjamin Franklin.
New Haven received a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service just after 10 p.m. that remained in effect until 2:30 a.m. A tornado watch was in effect for New Haven County until 1 a.m. Thursday.
At 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, David Evans, head of Berkeley College, emailed students alerting them to seek shelter until the storm passed — likely at 12:30 a.m Thursday, he said at the time.
“We’re expecting the most severe lightning, rain, and winds just before midnight,” Evans wrote. “We’ve had big tree limbs fall down in North and South Court in recent years, and you don’t want to be under one of those when it comes down.”
Bass Library was flooded at 11:45 p.m., according to a student video. Spaces across campus, including the Jonathan Edwards buttery and Davenport College basement, soon followed.
Around 12:10 a.m. Thursday, the power went out in several residential halls across campus.
Meanwhile, Matthew Meyers ’24 told the News that around 12:15 a.m., students in Bass Library were being evacuated by security guards as water reached its upper floor.
“The floor is covered in water, and that’s leaking to the bottom floor, and the carpet is getting wet,” Meyers wrote. “You have to stand at the edge of the tiles to avoid wetting your feet.”
Aidan Evans ’23 told the News that Davenport’s basement had about an inch of water, with rain leaking in through the windows. At about 12:40 a.m., the fire alarm was going off in some common spaces of the college, as students were told to return to their dormitories.
Similarly, the floor of Jonathan Edwards College’s Buttery was submerged under about two inches of water, according to James Richardson ’24, who is a sports reporter for the News. By 12:48 a.m., the second floor of Timothy Dwight College was starting to flood, Nicholas Cerny ’24 told the News.
Some students, including Dzidedi Azumah ’23, reported that they had lost swipe access to entryways in Ezra Stiles. Malcolm Keyes ‘23 said the Benjamin Franklin gates were propped open by security at around midnight.
Sections of the ceiling in Timothy Dwight College had peeled off and fallen to the floor, according to a video posted to Twitter just after 1 a.m. Thursday.
Ryan Chiao, Elifnaz Onder, Zaporah Price, Zoe Berg, Megan Graham, Madison Hahamy, Lukas Flippo, Sydney Bryant, Andrea Lee, Marissa Blum, Louie Lu, Dominque Castanheira, Andrew Kornfeld, Owen Tucker-Smith, Elizabeth Hopkinson and Mel Adams contributed reporting.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.
Update, 1:42 a.m. 9/2: This story has been updated to include new information and sourcing from students and the Yale Alert system.
Update, 1:53 a.m. 9/2: This story has been updated to include new information about flooding outside of Benjamin Franklin.
Update, 2:21 a.m. 9/2: This story has been updated to include new information about intermittent power outages later in the night.
Update, 2:44 a.m. 9/2: This story has been updated to note that the News had not yet received comment from Yale and New Haven officials on the flooding.
Update, 3:39 a.m. 9/2: This story has been updated to include videos of the flooding and additional information from the Yale alert system.