Hurricane Gloria rolled through Harvard around 3 p.m. yesterday, with winds of up to 97 m.p.h. knocking over a dozen trees and causing tens of thousands of dollars of property damage. But it carried nowhere near as big a punch as students and administrators had expected.
University Police Chief Paul E. Johnson said there were no injuries to students or staff as a result of the hurricane, which had mostly dissipated by 6 p.m.
In preparation for the blitz, Harvard officials cancelled classes and shut down all offices for only the third time in this century. Facilities Maintenance kept a full staff of 200 workers, University Police doubled its force, calling in 15 overtime policemen, and the dining halls stayed open. The rest of Harvard's 20,000 employees and its 15,000 students got the day off.
Despite yesterday's turmoil, today's weather is expected to be sunny with temperatures in the high 70s, and 12- to 18-knot winds from the northwest. The UMass football game will be played as scheduled, "unless UMass can't get through to Cambridge," said Athletic Director John P. Reardon Jr. '60.
Although Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 advised students to stay indoors, outdoor hurricane parties sprang up all around the college, with students drinking beer, throwing footballs and frolicking in the stormy winds. (See story, this page.)
Some 300 students in the Leverett House towers were evacuated to McKinlock Hall about 11 a.m. yesterday. Students in the 17-story Mather House tower were moved to the low-rise portion of the house about noon. All were allowed to return by 6 p.m., officials in the two houses said.
Among the areas worst hit by the hurricane were Conant Hall, one of the chemistry laboratories on Kirkland St., where a falling tree shattered two large plate-glass windows, and the Yard, where a half-dozen massive oak trees toppled. (See story, page 3.)
"We were prepared for much more damage than what actually occurred," said Lawrence R. Kilduff, associate director of Facilities Maintenance, which spent $50,000 in preparations before the storm hit.
"There were no reports of any major problems. no significant damages," Jewett said.
Kilduff estimated cleanup costs would amount to less than $100,000, with the bulk of that going to remove toppled trees. Jewett said the University's biggest fears had been of water damage and flooding, both of which failed to happen because of the light rainfall.
Kilduff said water leaked through the roofs of Lamont Library and Moors Hall at North House, but water-related problems overall were less than officials expected.
Kilduff said Facilities Maintenance will begin its full-scale cleanup Monday, and will have a more accurate damage estimate then.
Power outages also were a rare problem at Harvard, because the University buys electricity in bulk and operates its own distribution system, Kilduff said.
Kilduff said electricity went out at the Law School's Wyeth Hall on Mass. Ave., the Cronkhite Graduate Center on Brattle St., the house of Radcliffe President Matina S. Horner, and a few other buildings not connected to the Harvard electrical system.
Students should call maintenance workers at 495-5560 if they have any kind of hurricane-related damage to report.
The deadline for filing study cards was moved up to Monday, as well as the deadline for applying for tickets to the Dartmouth football game.
Damage in the Square was light, with the Fresh Pond area in west Cambridge taking the worst of the storm. Cambridge authorities reported some fires, power outages and one incident of looting. (See story, page 3.)
The last time classes and daily business at Harvard were cancelled was on February 8-9, 1978, when the legednary blizzard of '78 dumped a record-high 29 inches of snow on Cambridge. The only other time in this century that Harvard shut down was September 21, 1938, two days before registration, when an unexpected hurricane ravaged the East Coast and killed 600 people