Winter Storm Atlas caused a number of inconveniences and changed plans for the Chadron State College Heroes Homecoming, but fortunately there were no reported injuries and no building damage on campus, according to Dale Grant, vice president of administration and finance.
The 12-15 inches of heavy, wet snow which the storm dumped on Chadron Oct. 4 caused damage in about 90 percent of the trees on campus, according to Grant.
“It’s obviously our main focus,” Grant said of the clean-up operation. CSC grounds staff members have been busy since the storm removing snow from parking lots and streets on campus, followed by cutting down broken and hanging limbs referred to as “widow makers” by those in the tree business since they are extremely dangerous when they fall.
A tub grinder may be available from another government agency to shred the broken branches delivered to the SWANN site northeast of town into a special kind of mulch that interlocks when placed around plantings and is less likely to wash or blow away.
Mays said of the campus’ tree damage, “Mother Nature has a way of coming through these things. We have a lot of trees that will still provide good shade next summer. Our first concern is to do the work for the safety of people walking near damaged trees. Then we will revisit them and do any additional work needed to make them structural sound.”
In a turn of good luck, Chadron’s Greener Nebraska Towns grant, which was set to expire in December, was granted an extension into the spring of 2014 about a week before the storm hit. Through the program, Chadron home or property owners may apply for reimbursement for the cost of a tree up to $100 if it meets all criteria following a post-planting inspection.
Extremely muddy conditions due to the approximate 1.75 inches of moisture delivered by Atlas temporarily slowed some work on the three major construction projects on campus or caused crews to change which portions of the projects they are working on.
The celebration dinner marking the 50th anniversary of the Chadron State Foundation was attended by about half the number originally scheduled. All alumni award recipients will be invited to be recognized next year.
The lighting of C Hill Thursday night at the Lindeken Clock Tower and the coronation of royalty at the Spirit Rally Thursday night were unaffected by the storm. The football game against Adams State was postponed until Sunday at noon to give coaches and volunteers time to clear the field.
The bonfire was replaced with “Chill Out” night in the Gold Room with a movie, games, hot chocolate, chocolate fountain, and cookies while the Heroes Homecoming parade was cancelled
The Saturday night dance was postponed to Sunday evening in the Ballroom.
Nelson Physical Activity Center Eagle 5K run – postponed until Oct. 30 when it will be combined with the annual HPER department’s Haunted Trails run.
“The Underpants” theatrical production went on as planned Thursday, but Friday’s and Saturday’s tickets, when the show was cancelled due to downed power lines and trees, were honored at the Sunday matinee.
The Friday piano concert by Spanish keyboard aficionado Susanne Skyrm was cancelled.
—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator