September 16, 2013

Water resting in lots adjacent to the college.

College remains closed due to flooding in area

Sterling, CO—The grounds of the campus are pretty much dry and the sun is shining on Monday afternoon, but the aftermath of the flooding on the nearby South Platte River is taking a toll. More than 100 students remain on the campus of Northeastern Junior College, unable to leave the during this weather incident for one reason or another. The College has worked diligently to take care of these students, even though classes are not running and the campus is officially shut down.

Food service was running until it was shut down by order of the Northeast Colorado Health Department on Monday afternoon. It’s not like the students can hop in a car and go to the nearest fast food location to get something to eat, as all establishments  who prepare food, are shut down as part of the “no flush” order.  Even the deli counter at Wal-Mart is not operating.

Dedicated college staff have been meeting regularly and assessing the situation as changes are made. At a meeting today at 1:30 p.m., the staff was assured by local authorities that the power will remain on provided there are no catastrophic happenings in the community related to the flood waters. Xcel Energy has been dealing with a few sub-stations that have been partially or completely submerged in water, but this is not expected to affect the campus, according to those involved directly.

Yes, food service on campus has been shut down, however, staff from Northeastern’s residence life program are in the process of buying ample amounts of food to be placed in and served to the students who remain on campus during meals to be served in the lobby of the residence hall in which they live.  Meal times will be 5 p.m. this evening. Brunch will be served 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.  Snacks will be available.

Additional provisions will be made for the students as needed, certainly until the no flush order is lifted. Authorities have cautioned that Northeastern students need to honor this no-flush order as much as is possible and reasonable.  Showers are definitely off limits as is doing laundry at this time.  In light of the no flush order, the college is making arrangements for sanitary portable facilities to be placed on campus, near residence halls.  Vendors who have these services are giving the college priority status for them, however in a community with a city-wide no flush order, there is a shortage and port-a-potties coming in from outside areas have to be brought in on routes that do not include crossing the river as all passages are closed. Sanitary hand cleanser is also readily available in all of the residential buildings.

The administration will meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning and provide an update again at that time. Should any other changes happen between now and then, the college will take immediate action to assure the safety of the students and the buildings on campus.  The college remains closed. No decision has been made regarding Wednesday activities at this time.

If there is a sense of urgency to contact a student who remains on campus and you have been unable to reach that student in your usual ways,  please contact david.mcnabb@njc.edu regarding your individual situation. 

The administration at Northeastern Junior College reminds students, parents, faculty and staff that we do remain very much in an emergency situation.  Considerable damage has occurred in the river area where some municipal facilities are located. Even though water  did not come into the main parts of the city, it has certainly gotten into areas that have affected the community as a whole. “Your understanding is appreciated,” said Barbara Baker, Director of Marketing and Public Information. “Know that we are taking care of the students and the campus to be the best of our ability considering the circumstances.”

Updates are being posted on the Northeastern Junior College Facebook page. Information from the Logan County Office of Emergency Management and the Logan County Sheriff’s Department are also posting updates on Facebook. Neither of these agencies is maintaining a website at this time, but choosing to post on Facebook.  To get to the Northeastern Facebook, use this link: https://www.facebook.com/northeastern.junior.college