Carleton College flooding update



flood helpers

Here’s an update to Friday’s post on the damage, evacuations and driving disruptions that Carleton College has suffered because of flooding.

It’s a copy of a memo that the Carleton administration has sent to the school. Stuff in bold is mine:

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: [Staff-all] Update on Flood Damage and Current Status
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 15:33:44 -0500
From: frogers <>

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Here is the latest update to help keep everyone safe, secure, and as dry as possible.

The river level is now falling, but it will be a while until it is fully back within its normal banks.  As the buildings and fields adjacent to the river emerge, we will begin to assess the damage and necessary repairs.

At this time, power has not been restored to either the West Gym or Laird Stadium. When the water is down to a safe level in the mechanical areas of those buildings, we will work to restore the power as quickly as possible.  That may require a second shutdown of the upper campus buildings that were briefly without power Friday.  When this is clear, we will notify everyone with as much advance warning as possible.  Because of the damage to mechanical equipment at West Gym and the building itself at the Stadium, it is likely that these buildings will be closed to campus use for at least two weeks.

We are beginning to make alternative arrangements to allow normal activities to continue.  The football team and soccer teams will practice on fields near the Rec Center and we are making arrangements to store their equipment in this area to facilitate their practices.  The Homecoming game this weekend against Augsburg has been relocated to the Northfield High School field and we will work out logistics of transportation and parking and make a separate announcement about that as the time approaches.  We are deeply grateful to both the Northfield School District and St. Olaf for offering us the use of their fields.  Further changes in the home football schedule will be announced as they are finalized.  Other activities from the West Gym will be rescheduled by Athletics and notices will come from them.

The students who were moved out of Allen, Geffert, Prentice and Wilson houses will be individually notified when it is safe to return to those locations. We hope to have them all back in their regular spaces within one week.

At this time we understand from the City of Northfield that the 4th Street bridge remains closed, but the other two city bridges have reopened to normal traffic. I should reiterate the dangers of entering the flood waters to wade or swim, or even to boat.  These waters continue to be physically very dangerous and are now also a health hazard, as there is sewage from Faribault and Owatonna flowing into the rivers.  Please avoid entering the water at any time.

We want to extend a special and heartfelt “Thank You” to all of the Carleton staff, students and faculty who have given of their time and creative energy to assist so generously in this time of need.  We were able to address the issues on campus quickly and thoughtfully because staff came out in the night to begin their work.  Student athletes and residents responded quickly and energetically to assist in getting their equipment and personal belongings to safety.  Most impressively, many Carleton faculty, students, and staff responded to the call from Northfield for sandbagging assistance.  It was heartening to see so many engaged in helping our neighbors at this time.  Surely we experienced, and are continuing to experience, an exceptional event and its consequences.  The typical Carl attitudes of thoughtful engagement, generosity, and humor have helped us all to survive and thrive.  Thank you.

More information can be found on the web at:

Steve Poskanzer, Hudlin Wagner, Bev Nagel, and Fred Rogers