Rice U. In The Aftermath Of Ike

September 17, 2008

Rice University reopened for classes Tuesday after spending the weekend and Monday cleaning up tree limbs and debris and repairing damage caused by Hurricane Ike. About 75 percent of faculty and staff were on campus Tuesday, and most classes scheduled for the afternoon were held.

Below are some of the stories being shared by students, faculty and staff:

— While Ike was passing over Houston, Professor of Earth Sciences Jerry Dickens gave his PowerPoint presentation on hurricanes to the students who were sheltered in his residential college.

— Rice has a water well that can serve as a backup when the city loses water pressure, but the motor for that pump was fried by the constant blips in electrical power. Rice crews were able to locate a replacement motor in Memphis, Tenn., but they couldn’t have it shipped by plane because Houston’s airports were closed. Instead, the 2,500-pound motor was shipped by truck to Morgan City, La., from where it was escorted to Houston by members of the Rice University Police Department to ensure the truck would not be blocked from entering the Houston area.

— After the storm, Texas Search and Rescue helicopters temporarily used the parking lot west of Rice Stadium for landing because a helipad in the Texas Medical Center was damaged by the hurricane. Patients who were flown in by helicopter were transported by ambulance to nearby hospitals.

— Rice students’ sense of humor was evident by one of the movies they chose to watch in their residential college during the storm: “A Mighty Wind.”

— When Rice reopened Tuesday, President David Leebron held a faculty meeting before the first classes resumed. About 240 attended the meeting, and when Leebron asked how many of them were still without power at their homes, more than two-thirds raised their hands. Noting the level of commitment that alone shows, he thanked the faculty for being there and told them to show understanding about the range of difficulties that students may face, especially those whose return to campus will be delayed because they are still out of town or coping with the aftermath of Ike. He encouraged the faculty to demonstrate both resilience and compassion, and execution and understanding as Rice tries to get back on its feet and move forward.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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