As you may know from the news reports, the city of Jackson is coping with a significant number of water lines break, causing low water pressure in some parts of the city and other portions without water at all. There are over 80 breaks currently reported.
Obviously we need water to run the campus, and thus if the breaks are not fixed soon we will need to delay the start of the regular semester on Wednesday this week.
As of right now, we have lost most of the water pressure on campus.
We expect to know much more in the morning after the water crews have worked through the night. Of course, we’re hopeful that the primary damage is corrected by then, but we won’t know until tomorrow.
We have taken a number of steps today to best serve those student on campus and our employees:
1. We keep a quantity of emergency water on hand in case of a hurricane (7,200 bottles). We have distributed bottles of drinking water to the residence halls.
2. The dining commons kitchen will only use bottled water for cooking until the boil water notice is lifted – which will not happen until several days after the water lines are repaired.
3. We have had 12 portable toilets delivered for the campus. Hopefully they won’t be needed for long.
4. To guard against the H1N1 flu, this fall we had installed hand sanitizers all over campus. Today we put in some additional units in the residence halls.
5. We canceled classes for tonight, and tomorrow afternoon will make a decision about ASPIRE and graduate classes for Tuesday night.
6. Administrative offices will be open tomorrow.
7. We will make a decision in the morning about the delay of the start to the spring semester once we are able to evaluate the progress the city makes working overnight.
If students are preparing to travel back to campus, and would be more comfortable delaying your trip until the picture is clearer, we encourage you to wait if you prefer. As you know, our faculty at Belhaven will always work with you to overcome difficulties, and thus if you don’t arrive by Wednesday, we’ll get you caught up as soon as you get here (even if we do go ahead with the start of the semester on Wednesday as planned.)
When we know more in the morning, I’ll post an update.