UPDATE: Shepherd University residents affected by damaging winds

Tree on South Duke Street that fell over on a fence due to wind (Photo by Shaunna Redman)

***Update: Residential students still without power, campus to open at 12:25 p.m.

Both sides of Shepherd University remain without power Tuesday morning after a Sunday evening outage during high winds leaving buildings without heat, hot water or power. Residential, academic and administrative buildings are affected.

Administration has closed campus until 12:25 p.m. while Potomac Edison crews work to restore electricity.

One apartment building, Printz Hall, was evacuated Monday night when a mechanical system providing heat to the building became overworked at 2 a.m. and smoke was detected throughout the building. The Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department responded. Evacuated students were taken to Dunlop Hall, directly next door.

Facilities Management was on campus overnight updating Potomac Edison on the current condition of the power. Potomac Edison is to be forming service crews to restore power to campus.

The Wellness Center was unaffected by the outage and will be serving food at The Wellness Café beginning at 8 a.m.

With winds reaching max wind gusts of 65 MPH, Shepherdstown faced power outages, fallen trees, and broken power lines.

Shepherd University residents, except those living in Shaw and Thacher, have been without electricity since 10:30 last night leaving students without heat, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet access. Potomac Edison estimates that the power will be restored by 11 p.m., which is a full 24 hours since the residents have had power.

Fallen tree on Shepherd Grade Road responsible for the power outage on the west side of campus (Photo by Shaunna Redman)

“Printz went off at around 10 or 11. Two of my friends who are commuters that couldn’t get back home stayed the night with me due to the weather. I also had to walk my other friends who came over uninvited back to their homes with only a flashlight, and almost got hit by a car,” said Elijah Fritz, a resident of Printz apartment building.

Shelby Resh, a resident of Potomac Place, was surprised the new building does not have a generator.

“My entire building is out. I’m a graphic design major, and I rely on power to get my work done, not only that, but I’m relying on Wi-Fi because most of my work is posted online. I also live in Potomac Place and I expect that it would have a backup generator since it’s newer and one of the more expensive buildings,” she said.

Amanda Barber, who was in Riverside when the lights went out, said she was scared.

“The power went out around 10:30 last night. I was in Riverside at the time, with only the emergency lights on, and when I was trying to walk back home to the suites it was pitch black outside. It was scary,” she said.

“They shouldn’t have let us have classes today, one because most of the campus is commuters, and a good chunk of students are art majors, and there is still high wind and trees falling, so they should’ve cancelled classes because it’s dangerous to travel to school, and some of us need to make arrangements to stay off campus until power is restored. We woke up in the dark,” Tiffany Kline, a resident of Potomac Place said.

To accommodate for residents without power, the student center will remain open until 1:30 a.m. and The Wellness Center will remain open until 11 p.m. to allow students a place to shower. Residence Life is offering temporary housing in Shaw and Thacher for the night. Shepherd University is also asking its professors to work with students who were affected by the power outages across campus.