What began as a theatrical thunderstorm on Sunday evening soon became a serious ordeal for students living in the student apartments. The apartments experienced a lightning strike at 10:45 p.m. during a storm that hit the Goshen area.
Though no students were injured in the strike, the building’s system endured immediate damage. At least 16 apartments lost heat control, and the fire alarm system and automatic doors stopped working. In addition, several ITS data machines experienced damage, causing a loss of internet connection.
Student residents also felt effects from the strike. Mary Bachman and David Jost, both juniors, could smell burning outside their apartments. Several students’ televisions ceased to function. Seniors John Munley, Patrick Maxwell and Paul Verseluis’ apartment fan repeatedly turned on and off. Annaliese Rychener, a junior who owns a plastic toy that lights up when hit, said that it began to light up without being touched.
As of Wednesday afternoon, heat has been restored to the majority of the apartments. The fire alarm system should be fully repaired soon. Most of the damage is insured by the College and seems to be non-permanent at this point.
Glenn Gilbert, the campus’ utilities manager, advises that the best way to reduce damage during a storm is to unplug any valuable electronics.