Severe weather leaves destruction on campus, some off-campus students in dark
Published: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Updated: Sunday, July 1, 2012 00:07
The damage sustained on Ohio State property during Friday’s severe weather event was “relatively minor” according to a university official, but the destruction certainly went beyond downed tree limbs on the university’s iconic Oval. Students living in the neighborhoods adjacent to OSU might continue to feel the impact of the storm for days to come.
Bob Armstrong, the university’s director for emergency management, told The Lantern that damage on OSU’s Columbus campus was mostly the result of falling trees and limbs.
The OSU airport and a neighboring university farm were not so fortunate.
“The most severe damage seems to be out by Don Scott Airport and the neighboring farm. We lost the roof to the horse barn. From what I understand, all of the animals in the barn are safe, but we will need to replace the entire roof,” Armstrong said in an email to The Lantern. “We also had a couple of buildings at the airport suffer some minor damage including broken windows and a little roof damage. On the Columbus campus … We have crews out checking all of the buildings for any unreported damage.”
For students living off campus, one of the most painful reminders of the storm is the lack of electricity in parts of the campus area.
At about 12:20 a.m, Sunday, 13 counties in Ohio were reporting outages as a result of the Friday storm, according to American Electric Power Ohio. In Franklin County, 145,876 remained without electricity.
Despite progress gained in restoring power, the northwestern portion of Columbus may not be supplied with electricity until as late as July 7.
Armstrong said OSU has reported all known cases of power outages to AEP, and has also offered to provide “any assistance that we can.”
“(AEP has) a very tough job of prioritizing the restoration process. Their primary focus is on critical infrastructure such as hospitals, fire departments, police stations, etc.,” Armstrong said in the email. “It can be very difficult waiting for them to finally get to your neighborhood to restore power, especially when the temperature is so hot.”
Temperatures in Columbus rose above 90 degrees Saturday, according to The Weather Channel, and high temperatures are expected to be in excess of 90 degrees for each of the next seven days.
Armstrong said his best advice for students trying to beat the heat was to take advantage of OSU’s air conditioned facilities, and to be patient.
For those with internet access, OSU also provides an online resource – emergency.osu.edu – with links to information regarding food, water and generators.