Last week’s snowstorm left many students without power or running water, forcing many students to search for a new place to stay.
As the first houses started to lose power, students began packing in to friends’ houses that still had power.
“We were one of the last houses among our friends to lose power, so prior to that we had seven extra friends staying in our house,” said Emma Perkins, junior accounting pre-law major from Edmond, Oklahoma.
Once these houses began to lose power as well, students had to look to alternative options.
“When our power went out on Tuesday, we knew we couldn’t stay in our house because, apart from the cold, the boil water notice made it so that we couldn’t safely drink our water without electricity to boil it,” said Perkins. “We heard that the HWC would be open that night, and because Beltway was pretty crowded, we decided that was our best option.”
Some students in Barret Hall were forced out of their on-campus housing because their rooms flooded due to frozen pipes bursting.
“At first, temporarily, my roommate, two of my other pod mates and a friend in 1B stayed in a friend’s apartment due to the power outages,” said Emily Perryman, sophomore early childhood education major from Smithville said. “I live in Barret 1A, which was unfortunately the floor that was flooded. Eighty percent of my room was flooded with water, which ruined quite a few items as well as soaked a lot of my clothes and shoes.”
Some students left Abilene in an attempt to avoid power outages and running out of water after the city shut off the water supply.
“For the past couple of nights I had been staying at a friend’s house since they had power and I knew my car wouldn’t be able to drive in the weather we were getting,” said Taylor Reinhold, senior liberal studies major from San Antonio. “Then the person I was staying with finally lost power so we went to Merkel to stay with a family whose son goes to ACU. They have been having rolling power outages but never lost water.”
While most students were displaced for the duration of the snowstorm, several students have expressed gratitude for the efforts administration made to help their students.
“Staying in the Hunter Welcome Center was actually such a great experience. My 11 friends and I were all able to stay in the same room, we had access to heat and running water, and the staff members went above and beyond to make us comfortable, always asking us if there was anything more they could do to help,” Perkins said. “It was truly amazing.”
Although many students like Perkins were able to go home after one night, several students in Barret are still unable to return to their dorms.
“All of this was pretty inconvenient, for not just me and my situation, but for those who had to temporarily put a pause to their busy lives. At the place I stayed at, there was a consistency of boiling snow to have extra water,” said Perryman. “It really makes me sad that I will not be back in Barret once everyone moves back in. I still feel like my life is on pause until I know for sure when I will end up in my new residence hall.”
While many people in Abilene were not prepared for this unprecedented storm, administration provided for the students the best they could.
“This isn’t something ACU experiences often, or maybe ever, so I felt like they were kind of figuring things out along with us,” Perryman said. “Providing space and food for those who needed it really showed those around that ACU does genuinely care.”