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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Sandy causes damage across campus

A tree was knocked down and uprooted across from the Melville Library during superstorm Sandy last week. (Nelson Oliveira / The Statesman)

Although Stony Brook University did not see the worst of Hurricane Sandy earlier this week, the storm knocked down many trees and power lines on campus, broke windows, and caused a balcony to collapse, according to university officials.

“Some physical damage occurred—in some instances quite severe—to campus building roofs and exteriors, and a number of trees have fallen and caused significant damage to exterior lighting, as well as walkways, roadways and property,” SBU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a statement Friday.

The destruction from Sandy was not isolated to a specific area on campus, but in terms of exterior damage and flooding, the places that were most affected were the Life Sciences building, the Stony Brook Union and Chapin Apartments, university officials said in a press conference Thursday.

At Chapin Apartments, a balcony collapsed from one of the residence halls and trees fell onto the roofs of some buildings, said Lawrence Zacarese, assistant chief of police and director of emergency management.

The superstorm knocked down several power lines on Nicolls Road and Health Sciences Drive, said Barbara Chernow, senior vice president for administration. The vast majority of downed trees were at the Research and Development Park, Zacarese said.

An unknown student had minor injuries from a branch that fell from a tree and broke a window in the student’s room, Zacarese said. No more information on the student or the extent of the injuries was available as of press time.

Stanley said the campus “successfully managed through this incredibly destructive storm and its aftermath.”

Chernow said “it will take days, if not weeks, to assess the damage” caused to the campus environment and to the mechanical systems in the university buildings. The university still has not evaluated the cost of the damages.

The university police has blocked traffic across the campus’ three main entrances between the West and East campuses to Nicolls Road to control traffic. Even though the traffic lights on campus have not stopped working—the university generates its own power—the lights near the campus entrances on Nicolls Road have been out since Monday.

“There’s a prioritization for people coming to and leaving the campus,” Zacarese said. “Even though it may be inconvenient at times to get out of campus, it’s the safest configuration.”

Until Thursday, Nov. 1, the outer loop buses had been running at a normal schedule. The Hospital/Chapin route started running on Friday, Nov. 2.

Chernow said the SB Alert system played a very important role in keeping students informed during the storm. Since Friday, Oct. 26, the Office of Emergency Management has sent out 19 notifications related to Sandy. On Wednesday, the office’s Twitter account—@SBUEM—went from 523 to about 800, Zacarese said.

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