Isaac Leaves Loyola in the Dark
Loyola faculty assess damages post-storm
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 15:09
Instead of beginning the first week of classes for the fall semester, Loyola community members were preparing for Hurricane Isaac to strike New Orleans.
Approximately 400 students were sheltered at Loyola during the storm, said Meredith Hartley, public affairs director.
Before electricity could be restored on campus, physical plant crews had to go through all buildings. Hartley said the physical plant crews had to inspect every building, including checking elevators, to ensure the buildings clear all safety checks so electricity can be restored, a process that took two days.
As a result of the 24 inches of rain, Hartley said the catch basins on the roof of the residence halls overflowed, resulting in leaks inside the residence halls.
According to Craig Beebe, director of residential life, the residential halls sustained differing amounts of water damage.
“Approximately 170 rooms and/or common spaces within the residence halls experienced some degree of water intrusion, most minor, but some more severe,” Beebe said.
According to Beebe, five apartments and suites had “heavy standing water.”
Beebe said they have used blowers and dehumidifiers to dry inside the residence halls.
This week, Beebe said physical plant and contractors are assessing the residence halls to “provide guidance on further maintenance and cleanliness needs.”
Insurance adjusters are currently on campus assessing the damage the university sustained during Hurricane Isaac, said Hartley.
While Loyola is still reviewing the damage from the hurricane, university emergency team member Rodger White said the emergency management team is assessing their handling of the hurricane.
White said the team is still learning lessons in how they can be better. He said that having director of emergency management Stephen Murphy has been refreshing. “He was grace under pressure for the storm,” said White.
Murphy said the after-action review, which took place on Tuesday, Sept. 4, is helping the emergency management team maintain their best efforts to keep the community safe.
Because of the loss of power and Internet, the emergency management team has made changes to improve the Internet communications with the Loyola community during hurricanes and other emergencies. “Part of these corrective actions include providing redundant communications and Internet connectivity to additional members of the core emergency management team,” said Murphy.
In addition, White said the emergency management team is talking about planning for an emergency operation center to serve as a central place to manage emergencies that cannot be anticipated, such as when the power goes out.
Aaren Gordon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org