GWU grounds makes a quick cleanup after Joaquin winds knock down trees on campus

Project fields advisor, Stan Powell. Photo by Matthew Johnson.

By: Matthew Johnson

Threats of flash flooding and damaging winds struck the Carolinas throughout the weekend of October 2nd. Amid these threatening conditions, Gardner-Webb prepared for potential destruction to hit the main campus.

As the rain and wind passed through from Hurricane Joaquin, two trees fell behind Frank Nanney Hall. The first tree fell about five feet from the sidewalk and the second fell about ten feet beside it. Neither of the trees caused damage to the buildings or walkways.

After hearing about the trees, the grounds crew began clearing the debris surrounding the fallen trees. The area was clean by Monday afternoon.

Jamie Smith, director of grounds, explained it is up to the grounds crew to ensure the safety and a clean campus. In addition to handling fallen trees, they make sure the storm drains are free of trash and allow water to run smoothly.

Although the police were not needed during Hurricane Joaquin, they are available if emergencies arise during severe weather.

They use various alarm and notification systems to keep students informed and out of danger. The newest program is called “Send Word Now.” It sends out text messages to make sure students receive information quickly. “It allows us to store more numbers and have already typed messages just waiting to be sent out,” said Barry Johnson, chief of university police.

Chief Barry Johnson.  Photo by Matthew Johnson.

Chief Barry Johnson.
Photo by Matthew Johnson.

The Bradford program is also still used on the internet to send out a warning message that will pop up on devices that are logged in. More traditional methods of warning through the campus alarm and Boiling Spring’s siren will warn nearby citizens of tornados and severe thunderstorms.

If damage occurs to any of the buildings, campus maintenance is on call. “We have a roofer coming in to replace the roofs that are flat and do not allow water to run off,” said Stan Powell, projects field advisor.

Although Hurricane Joaquin only brought minimal damage, Gardner-Webb stays prepared for more catastrophic disaster that may occur in the future.

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