By: Larissa Holmes
During the last week of February, Findlay was hit by heavy winds and storms that caused damages to homes and the University campus.
Cody Fagan, University of Findlay Operation and Maintenance Coordinator, reported that there were roughly 65 work orders submitted after the storm by students, faculty, staff, and security.
“In conjunction with the submitted orders, our crews fixed many items never reported and removed a countless number of branches,” Fagan said.
According to Fagan, four trees sustained heavy damage and needed to be removed, five fences were damaged by heavy winds, three windows were broken from flying debris, and two residential units lost sections of siding, gutters, and flashing.
Damage was not localized to just campus however, as residents in surrounding areas experienced damages from the storms. Darius Merriweather, a senior Journalism and Digital Media student, woke up the day after the storm to find a section of siding ripped off from his house due to high winds. While the piece of siding hadn’t broken off, the house’s insulation was visible.
“I actually hadn’t even heard the storms,” Merriweather said, “I seem to recall having slept right through it.”
Since his house was off campus, Merriweather relied on his landlord to repair the damage caused.
Despite the large number of work orders and the damage caused by the storms, the cleanup didn’t take long. The vast majority of damage was repaired and cleaned up by the day after the storm. “Most of the cleanup and repairs were relatively easy with respect to difficulty,” Fagan said. “All maintenance employees are often dispatched to assist the grounds crew until the cleanup is near complete.”
For tree removal, window repairs and fence repairs, outside specialty contractors are called in. This can take longer to coordinate the efforts to clear the damages. In the meantime, until contractors arrive and assist in the cleanup effort, plant employees neutralize any possible hazards.
Efforts to prevent as much damage as possible from inclement weather are reviewed by grounds crews and physical plant crews prior to the storms. Areas identified as possible problem areas are secured and protected by staff. Fagan explains that in the summer, crews thin the tree lines to remove dead or dying branches to guard against future damages.
“We do our best to eliminate the potential before it becomes a hazard,” Fagan said.