Hurricane Sandy (2012)

A message from President Kim Phipps

A Message to the Messiah College Community Following Hurricane Sandy from President Kim Phipps

As president, I want to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for the way that the Messiah College community has responded to Hurricane Sandy and all of its related challenges—not only during the storm, but in the proactive planning and response to this historic weather event. A hallmark of the Messiah community has always been the way that we work together and care for one another in difficult times—and that has certainly been exhibited in the events of the past several days.

Messiah’s Crisis Management Team, led by Vice President for Operations Kathie Shafer, has prepared and responded admirably to the challenges of Hurricane Sandy, keeping our campus community secure and well-informed. This team represents an effective partnership between numerous campus departments, and they met frequently in the days leading up to, during and following the storm to plan and make the necessary (and often difficult) decisions to keep our campus safe.

Students cooperated with the safety instructions from their residence staff and other College personnel and responded with patience and good-spirit to the hurricane-related schedule changes and inconveniences. (I’ve enjoyed hearing the stories and seeing the photos of the creative ways that students and residence life employees found to pass the time!)

Essential employees in Campus Events, Dining Services, Facility Services, Safety, and Residence Life exhibited selfless dedication in the way they cared for the needs of our students and physical campus environment. The majority of these individuals were on campus around-the-clock for several days, spending time away from their own families in the height of the storm to protect the wellbeing of our students.

Alumni, parents and community friends prayed for the safety and protection of our students, employees and campus—and we deeply appreciate their prayer support.

As a community, may we continue to pray for those individuals, families and neighborhoods who are dealing with the overwhelming loss and destruction from this devastating storm.

Warm regards,

Kim S. Phipps

Hurricane Sandy (2012)

Power restored to campus buildings; Grantham Campus to re-open Wednesday, Oct. 31

Thank you to all students and employees for your patience and cooperation during the storm and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. PP&L was able to restore power to the affected buildings on campus late Tuesday afternoon. The Grantham Campus will re-open at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31 and all classes and college activities will resume normal operations.  All essential and non-essential employees should report to work according to their regular schedules.

For the remainder of Tuesday evening, Oct. 30:

  • All evening classes and activities remain cancelled.
  • Eisenhower Campus Center and the Sollenberger Sports Center will close following dinner service.
  • All other campus buildings (with the exception of student residences and the Larsen Student Union) will remain closed throughout Tuesday evening so that facilities and safety personnel can conduct general maintenance and safety walk-throughs of campus facilities prior to re-opening Wednesday morning.  

For Wednesday, Oct. 31:

  • Dining: Lottie Nelson Dining Hall will resume its normal hours (with a modified menu); Union Café will open at 12 noon (with a limited menu). The Falcon will remain closed on Wednesday, but all dining venues are scheduled to reopen with regular hours and menus effective Thursday, Nov. 1.
  • Maintenance issues: If employees notice leaks or other storm-related maintenance issues when returning to their offices and work spaces, they should report them to Facilities Services after 7:30 a.m. at ext. 6011.
  • Traffic and parking: Due to rising flood water and debris, the South Entrance of campus, Creekside Drive, Starry Athletic Complex and the Art Warehouse (Mill House) remain off limits to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic until further notice. Commuter students should park in the visitor parking lot (between Old Main and Eisenhower Campus Center).
  • Vehicle fleet:  The College’s fleet vehicle travel will resume at 6 a.m.
Hurricane Sandy (2012)

Post-Sandy FAQs

When will the power be restored on campus?
The College is in ongoing conversation with PP&L, but they have been unable to give us an estimate of when power will be restored. We will keep students and employees informed as we learn more.

How long will campus be closed?
The decision to re-open campus and resume classes and campus activities hinges on the restoration of power to the affected academic buildings. PP&L has not been able to give us an estimate of when power will be restored, so we do not know at this time when it will be safe to re-open campus.

What caused the power outage and do we expect further power loss?
Overnight a tree fell across Mill Road and knocked down power lines affecting many of the academic buildings on campus. Given the forecasts for more rain, wind and winter weather today, it is difficult to speculate whether additional power outages will affect our campus.

Did the campus sustain any damage from Hurricane Sandy?
Thankfully Messiah did not sustain any major damage; however, the campus has experienced some minor leaks in residence halls and academic and administrative buildings, which are already being repaired. The Yellow Breeches Creek has swelled over its banks but is not disrupting campus roadways. Facilities and safety personnel continue to monitor all campus buildings on an ongoing basis.

Is there enough food to keep Lottie open?
Lottie Nelson Dining Hall remains supplied and prepared to feed students three meals a day on a limited menu basis. Dining Services is currently utilizing a refrigerated truck and is being supplied by its vendors. Dining Services is able to use Larsen Student Union to prepare hot meals on an ongoing basis.

Will students have to make up the missed classes due to this storm?
The Provost’s Office is currently in planning regarding scheduling any necessary make-up classes due to further prolonged class cancellations and will communicate their decisions as they develop.

Are students able to leave campus and go home?
Messiah is currently prepared to care for students while they remain on campus. Students are not prohibited from leaving campus if they and their family feel it’s in their best interest. If a student does opt to leave, he/she should inform a roommate or RA of his/her plans. However, once classes are back in session, students are expected to return campus.

Will the campus continue to have Wi-Fi?
We are currently able to power the College’s wireless system on a generator. As long as we have fuel for the generator—and we anticipate that we will barring any unforeseen circumstances—the wireless should remain available for students.

Who is caring for students during this campus closure?
Members of the College’s dining services, safety, facilities management, and residence life staff—all of whom are trained to assist in an emergency—have been on campus 24/7 to ensure that the needs of students are being cared for during and in the aftermath of this storm. Today, Tuesday, October 30, residence life and Student Activity Board are coordinating a variety of activities to help students pass the time.

Hurricane Sandy (2012)

Update from Messiah College Crisis Management Team

Local weather forecasts for today continue to call for rain, gusty winds and potential for snow or a wintry mix. The brunt of Hurricane Sandy has thankfully moved out of the area, but as you know, the storm has had an impact on our campus. Power remains out in most of the academic buildings, and while Lottie Nelson Dining Room has ongoing provisions to continue to serve meals to students, it is doing so with a limited menu and the limited hours of: breakfast from 7-9 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and dinner from 4-7 p.m.

The Larsen Student Union will open from 1 p.m.-1 a.m. today as a gathering place for students; and student offices in that space will also be open (although the Union Café will remain closed.)
PP&L has not yet been able to give the College an estimate on when power will be restored to the affected areas of campus. This is critical information for the College’s decision about when classes and activities can resume. We will provide an update on the decision about tomorrow’s schedule and operations later this evening.

The College has been in ongoing communication with employees and students at the Harrisburg and Philadelphia Campuses, and we are pleased to report that both campuses have power and everyone is safe.

Students are asked to be mindful and aware of the following:
• The Yellow Breeches Creek, Starry Athletic Complex, South Entrance and the Millhouse all remain off limits due to flooding and dangerous conditions.
• While outdoors and on the road, please be aware of inclement weather, debris, flooded areas and other potential hazardous conditions.
• Professors may be in contact with students today via email and Sakai regarding academic work and assignments.
• The Provost’s Office is currently in planning regarding scheduling any necessary make-up classes due to further prolonged class cancellations.

We realize that there have been inconveniences and challenges for our campus associated with this hurricane. However, we are thankful for the safety of our students and employees—and for the dedication of the staff in Dining Services, Facilities Services, Safety, and Residence Life who have remained on campus 24/7 to care for the security, welfare and needs of our campus community. Please continue to pray for the victims of this historic storm that has brought such widespread destruction and loss of life.

Hurricane Sandy (2012)

College closed October 30

During the night, Messiah’s Grantham Campus lost power in its non-residential buildings (but all student residences do still have electricity). Given the extent of the outage, the College is closed for Tuesday, October 30, and classes and college activities are suspended until further notice. Essential employees should report as scheduled. Non-essential employees should not come to campus today. Lottie Nelson Dining Room will continue to be open (with limited menu) to serve students. Larsen Student Union, which was announced yesterday to be opening at noon, is also now closed for the day.

PP&L was notified of the outage immediately, but college officials have not yet heard from them about the potential timeline for restoring power to the affected buildings. More details will be communicated as they become available.

Campus buildings without power:
Eisenhower Campus Center
Old Main
Climenhaga Fine Arts Center
High Center
Boyer Hall
Murray Library
Frey Hall
Hostetter Chapel
Climenhaga Homestead

Hurricane Sandy (2012)

Messiah College to open at noon on Oct. 30

Messiah College will open at noon Tuesday, October 30.  Essential employees are to report to work according to their assigned shifts or responsibilities. Non-essential employees should report to work at 12 p.m. but not before. Tuesday morning chapel, as well as the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. classes are canceled. The 11:55 class will start at 12:15 p.m. and run until 1:10 p.m. and then the regular schedule follows. Evening classes and activities will be held as scheduled.
All campus buildings will remain closed through noon, with the exception of Lottie Nelson Dining Room, which will be open for regular hours.  The Larsen Student Union and Union Café will open at 12 p.m. The Falcon Express will not open on Tuesday.
Any changes to this schedule will be communicated by 7 a.m. Tuesday, October 30, 2012.