SUNY Potsdam damaged by Tuesday’s storms
The storm that hit the North Country on Tuesday was felt at SUNY Potsdam as well. Some students were on campus for orientation this week, while others are in summer classes. Our Brian Dwyer went on campus to survey the damage.
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POTSDAM, N.Y. -- SUNY Potsdam was kind of right in that line of fire Tuesday, but unlike the village, the damage only seems to be minor. There's some tree limbs, trees uprooted, some roof damage, but nothing major. What could really come into play here for the school is the cost of cleanup and all the extras it’s doing to help out the village.
From the parking lot to the grounds, branches, limbs and trees, it's pretty easy to tell a storm blew through SUNY Potsdam.
"We had a number of areas, not too many, but a number of areas that were flooded. Some sewers backed up," said SUNY Potsdam Dean of Students Chip Morris.
Damage even stuck the buildings. Several roofs lost shingles or even slate tiles, many causing leaks, needing immediate repair to prevent further problems.
Morris said, "It creates the opportunity for the weather to get in. We have different crews both on campus and off working on those roofing situations to alleviate them so rain and different situations can't get in."
Wednesday afternoon, State Senator Patty Ritchie, a Potsdam alum, walked around the battered campus. She's hoping to get the school some relief funding, but she knows it won't be easy.
Ritchie said, "One thing that happened with the campus fire at Canton was that there's not a dedicated fund for the SUNY colleges. If something should happen like the fire or here with the water damages, there's really nowhere for them to draw to help with the expenses.”
And while the damage alone may be enough to convince state lawmakers that funding is needed at SUNY Potsdam, local officials say the school going the extra mile by doing things like allowing National Grid workers to stay at the school, on campus at the dorms, certainly wouldn't hurt.
"I think this is an example of what we should see more often. Everyone working together at all levels to get the job done,” Ritchie said.
But again, it could be quite some time before we find out if there's any state and or federal money that could help out here at SUNY Potsdam. Of course, the elected officials are extremely hopeful, especially with the extra steps the school has taken to help out the village.