SUNY Potsdam has resumed classes and is bringing its operations back to normal, after a sudden severe thunderstorm led to a power outage and isolated damage to campus on Tuesday afternoon. Power has returned to 100 percent of campus.
The village and town of Potsdam declared a state of emergency following the strong storm, which hit the community around 3 p.m. on July 17. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries as a result of the storm, and SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff, students and guests are safe.
SUNY Potsdam will resume Summer Session classes on Wednesday, July 18. At this time, Thursday’s Orientation session for first-year students remains on schedule.
Evening Summer Session classes and the remainder of the current Orientation session were cancelled on Tuesday following the storm. A small number of students and parents chose to stay on campus on Tuesday night, and their residence halls had electricity. PACES provided meals as planned in the Barrington Student Union.
Power and Internet service were restored to a number of buildings on campus around 6 p.m., with the remainder coming on line by 9 p.m. The dedicated Physical Plant staff, grounds crew and custodians worked tirelessly to clear roadways of downed trees and debris, pump water from flooded basements and begin to repair infrastructure. Additional University Police officers reported to campus to assist with the response.
Two SUNY Potsdam buildings had damage to their roofs. Stowell Hall sustained some of the most serious roof damage, and Carson Hall lost some slate roof tiles in the storm’s high winds. There was some damage reported at the Performing Arts Building construction site as well. Downed trees damaged two unoccupied vehicles in campus parking lots, and there were fallen limbs and branches that have been cleared from roadways.
The College is assessing the extent of all damage and coordinating clean up and repair.
Immediately following the loss of power, the College leadership convened the Emergency Response Resource Group, which continues to monitor and respond to the aftermath of the storm. As more information becomes available, it will be posted on the College homepage, at http://www.potsdam.edu.