After the flood
As many of you know, UH Mānoa is still recovering from what valley residents called the worst storm in 50 years. Water poured from Mānoa Stream Oct. 30, creating a swath of destruction down the Diamond Head side of the campus. Students meeting in Hamilton Library broke a window to escape rising water as the flood swept books, rare manuscripts and irreplaceable documents as far as the athletics complex.
I’m pleased to report that classes were cancelled for only two school days. Faculty, staff, students and volunteers rallied to salvage and clean what could be recovered, and technicians worked around the clock to restore power to 35 buildings. Gov. Lingle’s declaration of a state of emergency and the efforts of State Civil Defense and National Guard authorities, facilitated recovery efforts.
Hamilton and Biomedical Sciences were the most seriously damaged buildings; the bulk of remaining mitigation and restoration efforts is concentrated there. We are still tallying the damage, but the probability grows daily that we will exceed the State’s $25 million insurance coverage. If so, we will ask the governor and the Legislature for funds to make the M’noa campus whole.
To be sure, nothing can replace years of data and specimen collections spoiled or swept away by muddy waters, but I am proud of the way the entire campus came together to assess needs and stem the damage. I am grateful to community leaders who offered office space for displaced faculty and staff, food and water for volunteers and moving boxes and freezer containers for temporary storage of library materials. By Dec. 1, the UH Foundation had recorded $60,000 in gifts to campus and library recovery funds. If you wish to help, you can make a gift online for the campus or library.
Together, we will recover stronger than ever.
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