It is a rare occasion when Bucknell cancels classes. When I was a first year (in 2005) I was told that classes had not been canceled in the previous five years. (Some even said it had been ten years, although I have now been told they were closed in 2004 for flooding, so there is obviously a lot of exaggeration going on). Rain or snow, classes continued. Professors could choose to cancel their classes, but the University would NOT close. It was a historic occasion when classes were canceled on Valentine’s Day, February 2007, and some joked that President Mitchell had maybe not received the memo about classes never being canceled. It was a Snow Day to remember, that’s for sure!
Along with Bucknell’s tendency to not cancel classes for snow, soon after I got to campus I learned about the Susquehanna’s tendency to flood. People who had been in the area for years talked about the flood of 1972, and pointed out the markers on street signs for the level of the water. Friends who were on campus in 2004 talked about canoeing down the streets of Lewisburg. This week saw massive rainfall in Pennsylvania and the Susquehanna has once again overflowed its banks, at record heights for the last three decades causing Bucknell to cancel classes once again. The last few days I have been watching my facebook minifeed fill with news from people in areas of PA, NY and MD that have been hit by flooding, as friends are bailing water out of their basements, evacuating their apartments and homes, and hoping that the water is not going to fill their houses. Bucknell canceled classes on Thursday and Larrison, Harris, and Vedder, along with many of the small houses were evacuated, and students sent to sleep in the Fieldhouse. The pictures of Lewisburg that have been posted are incredible. Check out the Bucknell website for a slideshow of the affected areas. And here is an article with more details about classes being canceled, evacuations, and reflections from students and staff about what they are witnessing. I bet the person who left their car right near the bridge is really regretting that decision!
According to a friend’s comment on facebook, frat boys were back-flipping off the railway bridge near Hunt Hall. Sewage water anyone? So gross. And dangerous! I also saw in the slideshow that Zelda’s, one of my favorite places to eat and hang out is surrounded by water. The stream near Bucknell Hall was also way over its normal height. Hopefully the basement of Bucknell Hall is okay. Fortunately I have heard from my professors who live on Water Street, both north and south, that their first floors were not flooded, even though the water was covering the street. Some of them returned earlier today, and others will be returning to their homes this evening.
My thoughts are with all those in the Lewisburg area, as well as the rest of flooded PA, NY, and MD. Hopefully the damage won’t be too severe, and that the clean-up can be quick. It would help if it stopped raining for a good while and the sun came out (we are still pretty soggy here in MD, though the rain tapered of this afternoon). Earthquakes, hurricanes, and now flooding, what’s next, locusts? For those of you in Lewisburg or at Bucknell, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the flooding or the experience of being there. Please leave comments and pictures!