After last week's windstorm, campus and city make repairs, clean up
Last Wednesday’s windstorm left hundreds of thousands across Michigan without power for several days. The storm did nothing to spare MSU’s campus and resulted in a temporary power loss in 10 university buildings and a fallen tree on the College of Music building.
Residents across the state were affected by the storm with 364,000 Consumers Energy customers left powerless, Consumers Energy spokesperson Terry DeDoes said. He said as of Sunday night, storm restoration work was done and local level clean up projects were to be finished Monday.
DeDoes said the company brought in crews from six other states to assist with restoration work.
Communications manager for MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Michelle Lavra said the main part of campus did not suffer any power outages or fallen power lines, but some of the buildings located on the south end of campus rely on Consumers Energy power and, just like other Consumers Energy customers, those buildings lost power.
She said because the university was on spring break, there were no students affected during the gap in time when the buildings lost power and when crews were able to get generators out to the buildings. As of 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, all of the buildings had full power restored to them, Lavra said.
“With the generators, we came through the power outage in good shape,” Lavra said.
While Lavra said the fallen tree caused minimal damage, director of administrative services for the College of Music Gregg Bloomfield was inside the building when the obstruction occurred and described it as “quite a traumatic moment.”
“We heard kind of a loud crash and then discovered that the high winds had knocked over one of the Norway Spruce trees that was a part of a cluster of trees immediately to the west of the main entrance to the Music Building,” Bloomfield said.
The afternoon’s high winds knocked over a tree located immediately west of the main entrance onto the side and roof of the music building, Bloomfield said. After he placed a dispatch call, IPF crews were out to the scene within about an hour to remove the tree and clear the area, and by the following morning the site was cleaned of debris, he said.
Bloomfield confirmed there was no long-term damage to the building, but rather the tree caused the slate roofing damage.
In an effort to clean up the city, East Lansing Department of Public Works is offering to pick up storm debris placed on curbs as of March 13.
East Lansing Environmental Services Administrator Cathy DeShambo said the city is hoping to have the debris taken care of within a week or two.
“We’ll try to wrap it up as quickly as possible, but of course having a little bit of snow the past couple days slowed us down for sure,” DeShambo said.
She said at no additional cost to the city, the same staff that deals with snow removal and sidewalk salting are the same individuals that are conducting storm debris removal.