Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice Storm Wreaks Havoc on Marlboro College

It's been days since Marlboro, VT has had power. Power goes out in our backwoods corner of the universe fairly regularly. Students stop working and start drinking. The campus becomes a playground of sorts with sleepovers in unlocked buildings with better insulation that the dorms. We joke about it. We got Marlboro College flash lights at registration one year. But this is not the normal power outage.

Two days ago there was a huge ice storm. They closed Route 9, the only main road to the college. It's one of the largest roads in this part of Vermont. I hear from an EMT that there are hundreds of trees down on the 3 mile stretch of South Road, upon which the college is located. power lines, cell towers, even landlines are decimated, lying acros the road in frozen heaps.

I have a friend who cannot get into his driveway because there are three trees down before you even get there.

The dorms are all equipt with electric heating and the only stoves on campus are electric too. The water stops when the power goes out because we depend on an electric pump to get the water up the mountain. We only have a back up generator for one of the dorms and for the Dinning Hall. After two days, the students have been ushered from their dorms. Several are sleeping on the dining hall floor in sleeping bags. Others are crowded into the common spaces of the dorm. Professors and staff members are taking kids into their personal houses. Despite the road closures, the college took a van of kids to hotel rooms for the night.

The server (read e-mail and website) is down, so the school has no way to contact the students like me who live in town and have heat, water, etc.

Finals were supposed to be this weekend into early next week. I have no idea what we're gonna do.

Stay Tuned for more.

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