Lafayette goes dark amidst flooding last Wednesday

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A pool of water in the Kamine Dorms after heavy rains brought on by Hurricane Ida. (Photo Courtesy of Devin Croake ’24)

The fall semester is off to a splash after Post-Tropical Cyclone Ida pummeled the Easton area with forceful winds and sideways-falling rain. 

Power outages sprinkled the region and darkened the campus, forcing the College to use its backup generators, according to a Tweet from Public Safety. Classes were cancelled Thursday due to classrooms remaining dark, according to Lafayette Today.

The night of the storm multiple buildings did not regain power for several hours, while several others flooded, driving some students to navigate through flooded basements and shove towels under doors with flashlights.

John, a custodian who only provided his first name, was working on clean-up during the storm.

“These are four new generators and this is their first time being put to the test,” John, mopping up the flooded Easton Hall basement, said.

He also noted that many buildings–on and off campus–experienced flooding.

“It’s easier to tell you what’s not flooded,” John said. “Pretty much all the private buildings on McCartney, Porter, Monroe, Marquis and Easton Halls–the Fishers and Watson Hall are having problems too.”

Amanda Graf ‘24 joked that Watson Courts had “a recreational pond available for boating and swimming,” while Christian Festa ‘24 noted that up to a quarter-inch of water got into his room at McKeen Hall, saying it soaked half of his rug.

James Kinder ‘24 of the Easton Hall basement also reported up to a quarter-inch of water. Meanwhile, the brothers of Zeta Psi put up sandbags to stop the flooding of their basement, according to Tyler Makover ’22.

The storm brought record rainfall throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, according to PA Home Page. Ida wreaked havoc across the Northeast after making landfall in Louisiana this past Sunday and left Pennsylvania late Wednesday. As of Thursday, the worst of the flooding was expected to hit Easton last night and today as the Delaware River reaches major flood stage, according to Lehigh Valley Live.

No buildings on campus were evacuated, with the last incident of flood-related evacuations occurring in 2017 after an electrical fire activated the sprinkler system in Ruef Hall. During that incident, some residents reported up to “a couple inches” of water in their dorms, leading to a weeklong relocation

In the wake of Ida, no evacuations were required and the most extensive damage reported as of Thursday was wet clothing.