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Thurs., Nov. 18 Flood Update: Allen, Prentice Houses Reopen, West Gym Now Available

November 18, 2010

Video / photos of Cannon River flooding

Video Photos
Friday, Sept. 24 Friday, Sept. 24
Tuesday, Sept. 28 Monday, Sept. 27
Tuesday, Oct. 5 Tuesday, Oct. 5

Monday, Oct. 18

Update issued to campus on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, by President Steven G. Poskanzer, Vice President Fred Rogers, Dean of the College Beverly Nagel, and Dean of Students Hudlin Wagner

After weeks of hard work by so many dedicated and caring people on campus, we have good news to report on the ongoing clean-up from the September flooding.  

Student Housing: Restoration is now complete and the air quality safe in Allen and Prentice houses.  Our last 20 displaced students will have an opportunity to move back into the houses this week in anticipation of their full use in Winter Term. We want to thank the students for their understanding in accommodating the necessary adjustments needed to make the houses safe.

Laird Stadium: Bid requests for repair to the lower level of the Stadium are out to contractors, and some reconstruction work could begin in the next several weeks.  The 2nd and 3rd floors of the Stadium have been opened for normal use. Boring samples have been taken from the outdoor track to determine the condition of the base structure under the track surface. Results are expected in the next few weeks.  Most of this work will not be completed until the spring.

West Gym: Our athletic department, which also deserves special thanks for their good will and great patience, have been able to return to the building this week. All mechanical systems are now functional. Pipe insulation work is 50 percent completed, and air test results are satisfactory. The pool and gym will be open to the campus on Monday, Nov. 22, and we will be ready for our first home basketball game of the season, as our men's basketball team hosts Hamline University on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Financial Losses: Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were on campus yesterday to begin a review of our claims. Our total estimated loss is $4.6 million, and we are working to ensure as complete a recovery as possible from insurance and FEMA. By the end of this week, we will have received nearly $1 million in advance cash from our insurers. We continue to anticipate a nearly full recovery, although it may take a considerable time for everything to be settled. 

In addition to the occupants and supporting departments of residential life and physical education, athletics and recreation (PEAR), we want to acknowledge the patient, professional, and thorough work of the facilities staff as they have pursued this project from the first hours of September 24 through the present. Their knowledge of the buildings and systems and their care for the campus have enabled us to keep everyone safe and to continue to offer the programs that are integral to an excellent education at Carleton. 


Update issued to campus on Thursday, Oct. 21 by Vice President Fred Rogers

Practice field flood damage cleanup River sediment being removed from the West Gym practice fields. Nearly 6,000 cubic feet of material was removed from the fields. Of the nearly 360 dump-truck loads, approximately 100 were diverted to local residents in need of fill material on their property. The balance is being stored in the upper Arboretum and will be rounded off and seeded to stabilize it. Silt fence will be installed until the vegetation is established. The material may be used for fill on College projects in the future as needed. Clean-up from the September flooding continues on campus, and we write today to keep you up-to-date on major activities. The many individuals who are working tirelessly to help the College cope and respond to this situation deserve our special thanks, as do the students, faculty, and staff who have been so understanding in accommodating the necessary adjustments. Maintaining a safe environment for everyone remains our top priority. Financial Losses:  This past week we were finally able to receive a full assessment of our losses with a team of advisors and adjusters, and we had a chance to sit down and review carefully where we stand on our insurance coverage. This is an evolving and still changing dialogue as we work to understand what it takes to resolve our issues and what category of coverage each loss fits into. Our current estimate of loss is $5.5 million, and our expected coverage maximum is $4.3 million, coverage that includes the cost to replace the outdoor track.  The difference may be largely covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the College is planning to pursue that claim.  It is also the case that these remain very early estimates, and it is possible that more detailed planning will help to reduce these costs.  While we hope that FEMA or state monies will cover our losses beyond our insurance caps, there remains the possibility that flood damages could have an impact on our budget planning. Student Housing:  Despite our extensive efforts at disinfecting Allen and Prentice houses, we have been unable to reach safe air quality standards for mold content.  We will now move to a more extensive and invasive cleaning process, which we anticipate will take several weeks to complete with no assurance of results.  We just do not know how long it will take to fix these houses, so at this point we cannot assure students that they can count on using them for fall or winter term.  Therefore, we have decided to designate them as closed through the end of Winter Term and to determine alternative, permanent housing for the 20 students who have been displaced.  We have made a variety of special accommodations for the students, including a rebate for a portion of their room and board charges for fall term, and an offer of relocation assistance.  If we determine that the houses could be available in Winter Term, Residence Life will work with all concerned to determine the appropriate course of action. Laird Stadium:  Effective tomorrow, October 22, the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Stadium will be open for normal use. We have engaged an architectural firm to help us with reconstruction of the lower level of the Stadium, which will remain off use until future construction is complete. The football field is in good shape, and the scoreboard is in working order. With this progress, Laird Stadium will host our final home football game of the season, on October 30, against St. John’s. West Gym:  Asbestos abatement of flood-damaged pipe insulation in the mechanical room is complete.  We are now working to clean and re-insulate the air intakes and ventilation systems.  Clean up is continuing in the equipment room, and new motors and wiring are being installed.  New pumps for Thorpe pool are on site and scheduled for installation.  If things go as planned, we hope to be able to re-open West Gym in time to host the first home basketball game of the season, on December 1, when our men’s team takes on Hamline University.  Practice Fields:  Sediment on the West Gym practice fields is being removed by the truckloads, and we expect to restore the grass in spring. For additional information, including photos and video of damaged buildings, and information on athletic events and practice areas, visit http://apps.carleton.edu/athletics/flooding2010/. Thank you for your support and understanding as we continue our recovery work together.


Update on Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, at 9:23 a.m. CDT

We have more video and photos showing the amount of damage inside Laird Stadium and West Gym, along with images and footage of the sediment left behind by the flooding. Mary Savina, the Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology and Director of Archaeology at Carleton, used the flooding as an impromptu field trip, as the first-year students from her Geology 100 class learned how to interpret the ripples and ridges in the sediment left behind on the men's soccer practice field.

Update issued to campus on Friday, Oct. 8 by Vice President Fred Rogers
In our continuing efforts to keep the Carleton community up to date regarding the flooding on campus, we write with further information now that we have had a chance take stock of some of the damage. As we are able to assess the damaged areas, some appear to have survived better than we thought and some are worse.  It is most clear that the West Gym will be out of commission longer than we had anticipated, now planned to be through the rest of this term.  Here are the details of where we stand. 

Student Housing: The students who were evacuated from Geffert House have returned to their rooms. Students evacuated from Wilson House are now cleared to return. Students living in Allen and Prentice houses should be able to return to those residences very soon. The impact to these student residences was some polluted water contamination, minimal damage to drywall and replacement of the hot-water heaters, but we wanted to take steps in each case to have them examined to make sure they were safe for occupancy.

Laird Stadium: The water has drained off the football-playing surface, but due to the extensive damage to locker rooms, restrooms and other support facilities, at this time it appears that no home football games will be held at Laird Stadium this year. The Oct. 16 football game against St. Olaf will be played at Manitou Field on the St. Olaf campus, but it will technically be a Carleton “home” game, and as is the practice at all home regular-season contests for the Knights, there is free admission. Kickoff is still slated for 1 p.m and shuttles will run from in front of Willis Hall to the game, beginning at noon. Schedule and location changes for the two remaining home football games are still pending. It is clear that the track surface is a total loss so no track and field meets will be held at Laird Stadium during the 2011 outdoor season. Damage to the mechanical and electrical systems inside the building is not as extensive as originally estimated. Power is now restored to the building and cleaning and restoration processes continue. Work continues to repair and restore building systems.

West Gym/Thorpe Pool: Damage to the mechanical and electrical systems is greater than anticipated. Beyond the motors and pumps that were flooded, the air handling plenums were flooded, and thus contaminated and will need to be cleaned and re-insulated before building ventilation can be restored. The building will not be available for general campus use through the rest of this term. The swimming, volleyball and basketball teams’ activities will be relocated to Cowling, the Rec Center or other spaces.  Please check the athletics website at http://apps.carleton.edu/athletics for more up-to-date information.

West Gym practice fields: This area has emerged and is waterlogged and contains large amounts of sediment. The practice fields will not be usable this term but may be available in the spring.

Arboretum: As the waters recede, Cowling Arboretum and Carleton grounds-crew staff is assessing the extent of erosion experienced in the arboretum and practice fields. At the moment, the trails in the Lower Arboretum are very muddy and should probably be avoided. The trail bridge over Spring Creek may not be restored for another week.

Our first estimate of the total loss for Carleton is $3.2 million, most of which we believe will be insured. We are working with adjusters and restoration specialists to fully document the loss and to determine the best methods for restoring and salvaging lost equipment and spaces. Engineering and design work for the replacement track and refurbished fields will take longer.

For more flood updates, including photos and video inside the damaged buildings, and information on rescheduled events and practice areas, visit http://apps.carleton.edu/athletics/flooding2010/. We continue to ask everyone to please stay out of the affected areas unless you are authorized to be in those areas, as health hazards do still exist.

Thank you for your support as we continue to monitor and respond to this situation.  We want to express a special thanks to the many people who have worked tirelessly and creatively to help the College cope with this unusual situation.


Update on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010, at 1:36 p.m. CDT A new video is available showing the sandbagging and salvaging of articles from West Gym, along with footage of the impacted areas as the water has receded. A new video is available showing the sandbagging and salvaging of articles from West Gym, along with footage of the impacted areas as the water has receded. On Tuesday, Sept. 28, Carleton issued the following updates on the flooding that impacted its campus on Friday, Sept. 24, and resulting clean-up effort. College officials are asking everyone to please stay out of any of the flooded areas until they have been fully inspected and deemed safe and sanitary by the appropriate officials. It appears residents of Wilson, Allen, Prentice and Geffert houses will likely return to those residences by the end of the week, but that Laird Stadium may be unavailable for the remainder of the year. Update on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, at 3:56 p.m. CDT Newest photo gallery of flood damage to Laird Stadium/West Gym -- taken Sept. 27 For flood photos from Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 click here Carleton College has issued the following updates on the flooding that impacted its campus on Friday, Sept. 24, and resulting clean-up effort. College officials are asking everyone to please stay out of any of the flooded areas until they have been fully inspected and deemed safe and sanitary by the appropriate officials. Student Housing: The 31 students who were evacuated from Wilson, Allen, Prentice and Geffert houses will likely return to those residences by the end of the week. The only impact to those student residences was some minimal damage to drywall and replacement of hot-water heaters.
Laird Stadium: Much of the water has drained off the field. The Homecoming football game versus Augsburg College on Saturday, Oct. 2, has been moved to Memorial Field at Northfield High School. Kickoff is still set for 1 p.m. Schedule and location changes for the three remaining home games on the schedule are still pending. Damage to the mechanical and electrical systems inside the building, plus the need to clean up the interior and exterior of the building, will likely prevent Carleton from playing any more home games at Laird Stadium this season. The eight-lane running track has to be replaced; there are at least a dozen tears—some stretching 12 inches—in the running surface. No track and field meets will be held at Laird Stadium during the 2011 outdoor season. Some equipment in the athletic training room likely needs to be replaced/repaired. West Gym/Thorpe Pool: The main portions of the building were not affected, including the playing floor, locker rooms, and offices. However, damage to the mechanical and electrical systems has likely rendered the building unusable for a couple of weeks. Thorpe Pool inside West Gym appears to be undamaged, although the pumps for water circulation and filtration need to be assessed and repaired/replaced. Any students, faculty, staff and community members that were using Thorpe Pool will now utilize the pool at Cowling Gymnasium. West Gym practice fields: This area is still underwater and will need assessing by campus grounds when the water further recedes. Arboretum: Once the waters recede, Cowling Arboretum and Carleton grounds-crew staff will assess the extent of erosion experienced in the arboretum and practice fields.
Clean-up assistance: Assistance is needed (and very much appreciated) as clean-up efforts take place. For more information and further instructions, visit http://www.northfield.org/flood/. The athletic department is still taking inventory of what equipment from the affected buildings and programs was damaged and must be replaced. Quick work by Carleton coaches, staff, and student-athletes helped to greatly limit the extent of the damage. Carleton officials are working with its insurance representatives. For more athletic-specific updates, please visit the Flood Page on the athletics website http://apps.carleton.edu/athletics/flooding2010/.


Update on Monday, Sept. 27, 2010, at 4:17 p.m. CDT A memo has been released to the College community providing the latest updates regarding flood conditions on campus. Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe, secure, and as dry as possible. The river level is now falling, but it will be a while until it is fully back within its normal banks.  As the buildings and fields adjacent to the river emerge, we will begin to assess the damage and necessary repairs. At this time, power has not been restored to either the West Gym or Laird Stadium.  When the water is down to a safe level in the mechanical areas of those buildings, we will work to restore the power as quickly as possible.  That may require a second shutdown of the upper campus buildings that were briefly without power Friday.  When this is clear, we will notify everyone with as much advance warning as possible.  Because of the damage to mechanical equipment at West Gym and the building itself at the Stadium, it is likely that these buildings will be closed to campus use for at least two weeks. We are beginning to make alternative arrangements to allow normal activities to continue.  The football team and soccer teams will practice on fields near the Rec Center and we are making arrangements to store their equipment in this area to facilitate their practices.  The Homecoming game this weekend against Augsburg has been relocated to the Northfield High School field and we will work out logistics of transportation and parking and make a separate announcement about that as the time approaches.  We are deeply grateful to both the Northfield School District and St. Olaf for offering us the use of their fields.  Further changes in the home football schedule will be announced as they are finalized.  Other activities from the West Gym will be rescheduled by Athletics and notices will come from them. The students who were moved out of Allen, Geffert, Prentice and Wilson houses will be individually notified when it is safe to return to those locations.  We hope to have them all back in their regular spaces within one week. At this time we understand from the City of Northfield that the 4th Street bridge remains closed, but the other two city bridges have reopened to normal traffic.  I should reiterate the dangers of entering the flood waters to wade or swim, or even to boat.  These waters continue to be physically very dangerous and are now also a health hazard, as there is sewage from Faribault and Owatonna flowing into the rivers.  Please avoid entering the water at any time. We want to extend a special and heartfelt “Thank You” to all of the Carleton staff, students and faculty who have given of their time and creative energy to assist so generously in this time of need. We were able to address the issues on campus quickly and thoughtfully because staff came out in the night to begin their work. Student athletes and residents responded quickly and energetically to assist in getting their equipment and personal belongings to safety. Most impressively, many Carleton faculty, students, and staff responded to the call from Northfield for sandbagging assistance. It was heartening to see so many engaged in helping our neighbors at this time. Surely we experienced, and are continuing to experience, an exceptional event and its consequences. The typical Carl attitudes of thoughtful engagement, generosity, and humor have helped us all to survive and thrive.


Update on Monday Sept. 27, 2010, at 11:33 a.m. CDT After reaching record levels in and around the Northfield area, the Cannon River has receded and damage assessments of affected areas have begun. Only the Fourth Street bridge in Northfield remains closed. Access to and from the Carleton campus is open, although West Gym and Laird Stadium (and surrounding practice fields) remain closed and off-limits

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Volunteer assistance is needed (and very much appreciated) as clean-up efforts take place. For more information and further instructions, visit http://www.northfield.org/flood/. Carleton's Homecoming football game scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2, will take place at Northfield's Memorial Field, next to the Northfield High School. The Carleton Knights take on Augsburg College at 1 p.m. Thanks to Griff Wigley, Locally Grown Northfield, for providing an aerial view of the portions of campus significantly affected by flooding.

 

Photo Gallery of Laird Stadium/West Gym Flooding | KSTP-TV Video on Campus Flooding

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Carleton Media Relations Video Footage/Interviews of Flooding


Update on Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, at 2:05 p.m. CDT The flood waters continue to rise, but thus far only one campus event has been changed. The volleyball team's scheduled home match against Saint Mary's University has been moved from West Gym to St. Olaf College's Skoglund Center. Match time remains 3 p.m. Otherwise, all other scheduled athletic events are unchanged at this point, including the women's soccer team's home match with Hamline University at Bell Field at 1 p.m. Check Knights Online, your home for Carleton Athletics, for more information. President Steven G. Poskanzer's Inauguration Convocation and the celebration following are still a go, and other the scheduled inauguration events will proceed as planned. We will have more updates as they become available. Local media is reporting that the Cannon River is expected to crest sometime Friday evening. 


Update on Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CDT Northfield, Minn.­­––Due to heavy rains from late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, the Cannon River has reached record flood stage levels in and around the Northfield area. As of 11 a.m. Central Daylight Time, the City of Northfield has declared a state of emergency, which by definition extends through Sunday. This flooding has closed the Second, Fourth and Fifth Street bridges in Northfield, which connects Carleton College to the west side of town, and in particular to any vehicle traffic coming off Interstate 35, west from Minnesota Highway 19 and Minnesota Highway 3 (north and south). This means getting to the Carleton campus from these points mentioned above is restricted to using Woodley Street as access to the east side of Northfield and the Carleton campus. Vehicle traffic coming from the west (via I-35/Minn Hwy 19 East) is being detoured south on Minn. Hwy 3 and then east onto Woodley Street. The same goes for southbound traffic on Minn. Hwy 3, as traffic is being rerouted onto Woodley Street. Once on Woodley, those wishing to get to campus should continue on Woodley Street until arriving at either Division Street or Washington Street, turning left (north) and continuing towards campus. The flooding does not affect traffic coming from the east via Minn. Hwy. 19 west. For more detailed, statewide information on how flooding is impacting vehicular travel, visit http://www.511mn.org/ (also available to mobile browser users). In a note to faculty, staff and students on campus, vice president and treasurer Fred Rogers said that  the Stadium and West Gym are closed. Power has been shut off to the Stadium and may be shut off to the West Gym. No one should enter those buildings, Rogers stated. Wilson, Allen, Prentice and Geffert houses (all along the Cannon River) are closed and residents of those houses have received a specific email with instructions for alternative on-campus housing and a request that they evacuate any personal belongings that they will need immediately. Staff are on-site to assist and advise these affected students. The water is on the Laird Stadium football field and track and all of the West Gym fields. Rogers noted that the flood waters are very dangerous and no one should be wading or swimming in these flooded areas. The flood river creates undercurrents and holes and the river bank and main current may not be evident when walking in the water. Officials are asking everyone to stay out of the water in the flooded areas. Minnesota Highway 3 south is closed approaching Faribault. Highway 19 is endangered where it crosses Spring Creek below Lyman Lakes, and may have to be closed there as well. As of this time, classes are not being canceled and President Steven G. Poskanzer's Inauguration Convocation and other the scheduled inauguration events will proceed as planned. More updates will be provided as the College understands the developing situation. Rogers asked campus community members to take appropriate precautions under these exceptional circumstances. If students have any questions about student housing, they are to call the Residence Life Office. If any campus member witness a dangerous situation, they should call Campus Security at (507)222-4444. 


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