The series of tornadoes that swept through the Oklahoma City area Friday night, May 9, left Southern Nazarene University without power for 12-13 hours and minor property damages, university officials said.
About 150-200 students were attending the Jr. / Sr. Banquet west of Yukon at the Express ranch that evening, and were notified at the banquet’s conclusion by Mr. Bob Funk, President of Express Personnel Services, of the approaching tornadic weather. Due to the large metal structure of the building, students were advised to leave the ranch as soon as possible and take shelter back at campus, or in another secure location.
Meanwhile, students on campus were notified of the impending storm and instructed by their Resident Directors and Resident Advisors to take shelter in the basements of the residence halls.
The entire SNU campus lost power when the storm hit Bethany at approximately 11:30 p.m.
After the storm, many students stayed the night in their dorm rooms. RD and RA staff, security personnel, and physical plant staff were on campus through the night. Bruce Alfson, chief electrician, was able to provide limited power to the Webster Commons and Sodexho Food Service’s refrigerated area with a generator purchased for such emergencies.
Power was restored to the SNU campus Saturday morning, May 10 around 10:00 a.m.
Although storm damages to the SNU campus were not as severe as some suffered by those in the neighboring community, they were significant nonetheless. Air conditioning units were moved off the pedestals on some buildings, and there was some tree and limb damage across campus.
Other damaged areas include slight roof damage to the freshman women’s dormitory, Hatley Hall, the SNU baseball field, and the SNU softball field. A portion of Hatley’s roofing was pulled up and peeled back down to the metal decking, with some water damage to several rooms on the upper floors. Students affected have been moved to other rooms. Dr. Don Billings, VP for Financial Affairs, and Don Hendren, Physical Plant Director, met with a roofing contractor Saturday morning to assess needed repairs. It was decided to place a new roof on the entire building area. Repair work began Monday, May 12, on the Hatley roof.
The SNU baseball field sustained damages to the scoreboard, fences, bleachers, equipment building, locker rooms, and backstop, while the SNU softball field lost a scoreboard, a fence and backstop. The fields are located west of the campus on NW 39th.
For more information about tornado damage sustained on the SNU campus, contact Mike Brooks, VP of Student Development, 405.491.6335. For information about damages to SNU’s athletic facilities, contact Scott Secor, Director of Sports Information, 405.491.6619.
Posted on Tue, May 13, 2003
by Becky Walker, Assoc. Director of Communications & Marketing