Thunderstorm displaces 30 students from assigned housing

A+tree+tore+into+the+side+of+Arbaugh+6+during+a+severe+Thunderstorm+on+Mar.+15%2C+2016.+The+incident+caused+30+students+to+be+displaced+from+their+unit.

A tree tore into the side of Arbaugh 6 during a severe Thunderstorm on Mar. 15, 2016. The incident caused 30 students to be displaced from their unit.

Update: Wednesday 11:30 a.m. Sam Schlouch, director of public relations for the college, said the 30 students living in Arbaugh who were displaced were able to room with friends for the night. A tree removal company has been called. They are currently examining the tree and will begin cutting it down at 1 p.m. today. Schlouch said most of the students should be able to move in hopefully by today, if not in the next few days. One student apartment will likely have to be displaced longer.
A monotonous thunderstorm left it’s mark on the Augustana community when it caused a massive tree to tear into, and fall onto an on-campus housing unit displacing 30 students on Tuesday night.

A tree tore into the side of Arbaugh 6 during a severe Thunderstorm on Mar. 15, 2016. The incident caused 30 students to be displaced from their unit.
A tree tore into the side of Arbaugh 6 during a severe thunderstorm on Mar. 15, 2016. The incident caused 30 students to be displaced from their unit. (Photo Credit: Riley Moss, Augustana Student)

According to The Office of Residential Life (ORL) , officials are working to find “safe, comfortable and warm” places for those students.
“We will make sure (the students displaced) have somewhere to stay tonight, and in the coming weeks as necessary,” said Keri Rursch, a spokesperson for the college.
The residents who live in the unit say they did not realize the tree hit their housing unit until the storm had passed.
“We were all in the bathroom when we got the tornado warning, and we actually didn’t hear the tree fall through,” said Riley Moss, a junior who lives in the most severely affected unit. “We came outside when we couldn’t hear the hail anymore and we saw that a tree had fallen.”
According to Junior Ian Disteldof, the tree did not actually enter the apartment, it skimmed and tore off a portion of the roof.
According to the students, the power had been out long before the tree hit the building. Power was out across the entire campus on Tuesday night, even hours after the storm had passed over the community.
Students were sheltered in the basement of Erickson Hall on Mar.15 for more than 45 minutes because of a Tornado warning. There was no power for the remainder of the night.
Students were sheltered in the basement of Erickson Hall on Tuesday Mar.15, 2016 for more than 45 minutes because of a Tornado warning. There was no power for the remainder of the night. (Photo by:Ryan Jenkins)

One-by-one, residents of the evacuated unit were allowed into the building to gather essential belongings.
“I grabbed a toothbrush, a pair of sweatpants and my laptop. That’s it,” said Junior Kevin Seelander of Arbaugh 6.
According to Joe Sagar, the Asst. Director of Residential Life, Arbaugh 6 seems to be the most severely impacted unit, however unit 5 has also been evacuated as a safety precaution.
Rursch said it is too early to tell how long students will be displaced from their assigned on-campus housing.
Junior Jon Elsey updates friends and family after collecting his belongings before finding a safe place to stay following the evacuation of his housing unit on Mar.15 following severe weather.
Junior Jon Elsey updates friends and family after collecting his belongings before finding a safe place to stay following the evacuation of his housing unit on Mar.15 following severe weather. (Photo by:Ryan Jenkins)