MARSHALL—The remnants of Hurricane Ike—still packing tropical storm-force winds—hit East Texas Baptist University, leaving the entire campus without electricity for 28 hours after the storm knocked down trees and power lines.
ETBU personnel removed fallen trees from roadways and some cars on campus, and electrical service was restored in time for classes to resume as scheduled on Monday morning after the storm moved through on Saturday.
ETBU’s student services office kept students informed of the situation through their residential directors, as well as the ETBU Emergency Alert System. The alert system sends messages via email to all students, as well as staff and faculty, and places information on the front page of the ETBU website. The alert system also sends out text messages to cell phone users who have registered for the emergency notification service.
“Resident directors and resident assistants were walking the halls and visiting with students during the blackout, and informal dorm meetings were held periodically to pass on information as received regarding the storm and meals,” said Tricia Hart, administrative assistant in student services. “Some of the students passed the time by visiting and playing board games in the lobbies.”
Resident directors and assistants took shifts in each dorm during the night hours to provide security and to monitor needs. A generator enabled the cafeteria in the student center to provide limited food service during the second day of the power outage.
In addition to securing the campus and clearing debris, the ETBU physical facilities department prepared Keys Gymnasium as a special needs shelter by the Texas Department of Social and Health Services.
Allan Thompson, director of the ETBU Great Commission Center, noted ETBU students volunteered at eight evacuee shelters in Marshall.