tree irma

The tree that was in front of UF's New Physics Building was split after Hurricane Irma passed through Gainesville. This tree was one of oldest live oaks on campus, living for more than century, according to the Physics Department website. 

Alan Alvarez / Alligator

The worst winds of Hurricane Irma have passed through Gainesville, but the storm left its mark on UF’s campus.

UF Public Safety and facilities personnel are currently monitoring and assessing the damage around campus, but many specifics are unclear, said UF spokesperson Janine Sikes.

A section of Museum Road, from Fraternity Row to Hull Road, is closed due to flooding. This flooding threatens the safety of some of the buildings in this area, including The Baughman Center — the office of which is already sitting in water — and Elmore Hall, Sikes said. The intersection at University Avenue and 34th Street is also closed due to flooding. The UF golf course has gathered a fair amount of water, she said.

Sikes said that most of campus has power, although some of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences facilities southwest of campus had power outages.

“(It’s) hard to tell about when campus will be safe,” Sikes said. “UF public safety and facilities personnel continue to monitor and assess damage.”

Numerous leaks in residence halls, including Beaty Towers and Jennings, and other buildings around campus have been reported, Sikes said.

Maggie Stokes, a 19-year-old UF mathematics junior, had a roof leak in her dorm room on the ninth floor of Beaty East around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning. Water also seeped in from around the windows.

“In the one bedroom, we had a crack about three feet long that was dripping water the whole way across,” Stokes said. “In the other room, it was only a few drops.”

Stokes and her roommates placed towels on the ground and under the windows. They also had trash cans to catch water. Stokes said that her carpets are soaked, but it could have been worse. Last year, she said they experienced similar damage during Hurricane Matthew.

“Our situation wasn’t nearly the worst in Beaty,” she said. “Our RA said that some of the rooms were completely flooded and people were moving all of their stuff out of the rooms.”

Sikes wrote in an email that six apartments in Beaty had water in them, and resident assistants and maintenance staff are going through the rooms to check for more leaks. There was also water in the lobby of Jennings Hall that is being cleaned up. 

"Housing staff will work with students on a case-by-case basis to deal with issues regarding damaged personal property," Sikes said. 

There are a couple of downed trees around campus, including the big oak tree in front of the Physics Building, Sikes said.

Megan Newsome, a 21-year-old senior astrophysics major was upset to see what happened to the tree in front of the Physics Building.

“I’ve had so many classes in that building as an astrophysics major, and I am a little embarrassed to say it, but I definitely teared up when I saw what happened,” Newsome said. “It just feels like the tree was a part of the building that has been so integral to my time as a student since I’ve spent so much time there.”

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