Submitted on Saturday, 11/5/2011, at 8:12 AM

8:10 a.m. Saturday, November 5

Power has been restored to all remaining campus buildings, including Humphries dorm, Pontypool, Woodside Children's Center, the Observatory and faculty housing.

9:15 a.m., Friday, November 4

Western Massachusetts Electric has restored power to Tyler, Plimpton and Marsh residence halls. The company also reports that the remaining off-line buildings of Humphries residence hall, Pontypool, Woodside Children’s Center, Wilder Observatory and the press box at Pratt Field are first on their list of priorities for the day.

4:15 p.m., Thursday, November 3

Thanks to the hard work of Amherst College crews and the local utilities company, power has been restored to all campus facilities except for Pontypool, Woodside Children’s Center, Wilder Observatory and Marsh, Tyler, Humphries and Plimpton residence halls. “I’m confident, though, that those few buildings without power will be back online within a day or two,” said Jim Brassord, director of campus facilities and associate treasurer of campus services, adding that Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons will remain closed through the end of the week for lunch, since it is being used to house students living in those dormitories still without power. He also commented that the clearing of tree and other debris continues apace, with Amherst grounds crews working extended hours to return campus to normal as soon as possible. “The bulk of the major debris should be cleared by the middle of next week, which will enable us to begin the more surgical pruning of trees and bushes during the coming days and weeks,” he explained. “I don’t anticipate any of the work to disrupt Family Weekend activities in any way.”

As a side note, Brassord noted that the college community owes a huge debt of gratitude to a helpful group of approximately 200 Amherst students, who, along with some staff, worked elbow-to-elbow with the Amherst grounds crew on Monday cleaning up campus. “The effort was just remarkable,” he said. “The help of this group was incredibly appreciated. What they accomplished en masse would’ve taken our grounds crew several weeks. We can’t thank them enough.”

2 p.m. Monday, October 31; Letter from President Biddy Martin

Dear Members of the College Community,

I am writing with a campus update, as of 12:28 p.m. on Monday.  With the exception of a number of dorms and administrative buildings, all of which are listed below, power returned to the campus last evening.  As you know, the college was closed and classes were cancelled for Monday.  We will resume normal operations on Tuesday, November 1.  All classes will be held.  However, staff who work in the buildings that are currently still without power should check the snow line (413-542-7669) after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.  If power has not been restored to your building, you need not come to work on Tuesday.

I know that the effects of the storm and power outages continue to affect all of you.  I want to make you aware of the fact that Valentine Dining Hall is open, warm and willing to serve those of you who have no power.  Let me also take this opportunity to thank the staff in dining services for the extraordinary job they did yesterday, arriving on campus in the middle of the night of the storm to ensure the generators were up and running.  By morning, Val was serving hot meals to students and to a number of the rest of us who lived nearby, who had neither heat nor electricity, and were wandering in search of coffee and electrical outlets!  I also want to thank the staff in facilities, campus police, the Dean of Students office, and the office of the Dean of Faculty for their outstanding work over the past two days.  Campus walkways were clear early on Sunday.  Coordination and communication among residential life staff, as well as between them and other units ensured student safety.  Thanks, too, to the students with heat and light who have welcomed students from dorms without power. 

Many of us were heartened this morning to see the work groups that assembled to help our facilities’ staff clear the campus of debris.  The groups included scores of students, staff and faculty who have accomplished what it would have taken Jim Brassord and his staff a much longer time to do on their own. 

These signs of dedication, competence and community-mindedness are a boon at a difficult time.  I hope all of you are safe, that you have found ways of dealing adequately with the cold and the inconvenience of no power, and that power will be restored to you soon.

Best wishes,

Biddy Martin

Buildings Still Without Power (12:42 p.m.)

Administrative Buildings:

Ponty-Poole and Smith

Scott House

Woodside Daycare

Debevois Fieldhouse


Cadigan Religious Center



No heat, no light

Chapman dorm

Tyler dorm 

Plimpton dorm

Marsh dorm

Newport dorm

Generator Power with Emergency Lights and Heat

Mayo Smith dorm 

Seelye dorm

Hitchcock dorm

7:50 p.m. Sunday, October 30

Amherst College will be closed Monday, October 31.   Classes will not be held on Monday, and academic buildings including Frost Library, Merrill Science Center, Alumni Gym and Keefe Campus Center will be closed. 

Though much of the campus now has power, students will be evacuated from eight dormitories (Chapman, Cohan, Garman, Humphries, Marsh, Plimpton, Tyler and Newport) for the night due to the absence of power, light and heat.  Students in those dorms will be staying with friends in dorms with power or in Lewis Sebring.  Valentine remains open until 9 pm tonight, and meals will be served during normal hours tomorrow.

Hampshire, Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges have also canceled classes on Monday. 

Students are encouraged to join with the Amherst grounds crew at 8 am tomorrow morning on the Quad.  Work crews will be formed to participate in the clean-up of campus.  Special thanks are due to the Dining Services, Campus Police, Facilities and Residential Life staff for their exceptional work during a most challenging day. 

1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 30

Amherst College is closed Sunday, October 30, due to the snow storm and resulting power outages.    

 The storm has created a hazardous condition.  Heavy, wet snow is causing many tree branches to break and fall unexpectedly.  The Amherst grounds crew is making great efforts to clear walkways, but all are urged to exercise caution in walking around campus. 

 Students are advised that Valentine will remain open during its regular hours.  All academic buildings including Frost Library, Merrill Science Center, Alumni Gym and the Keefe Campus Center are closed. 

 To reach the Campus Police, please call from a cell phone (413) 687-2551.  If unable to connect, call (413) 530-6723.  911 remains available for emergencies. 

 Updates will be sent via campus email when available.  Staff and faculty may also call the SNOW line 542-SNOW(7669).