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One Week After Deluge, Harvard Back to Normal

By Charles G. Kels

Less than one week after heavy rains caused severe flooding across campus, students and house superintendents said yesterday the Harvard community is dry and nearly back to normal.

The Winthrop House dining hall, which closed from Sunday brunch through Monday dinner because of heavy flooding, reopened for break-fast on Tuesday.

"Everything's cleaned up. We're in good shape," said David Simms, Winthrop House superintendent.

Lamont Professor of Divinity Paul D. Hanson, the master of Winthrop House, said everythings is back to normal. "In the basement, we had considerable damage [during] a previous storm about a month ago," Hanson said. "We took the precaution then of putting everything important above floor level."

Hanson, who said he called facilities maintenance prior to leaving for Minneapolis on Sunday, praised the clean-up crew. "What a fantastic team went to work. What a fantastic team responded to the problem," Hanson said. "I have even deeper respect now for [Harvard] Dining Services. They were working all night and day. By the next day it was back sparkling."

But Winthrop residents had to put up with foul smells in the dining hall and mail room until Wednesday, according to Jared M. Lamenzo '97.

"I think there's a smell that's coming from the basement," said Elisabeth L. Ritter '97, a Winthrop resident. "It was pretty nasty."

"A lot of people took it as a chance to catch up with other people in Kirkland," said Winthrop resident Claudia L. Launer-Campos '98.

Hanson said that despite student reports of leaks in upper story suites, there was no computer damage.

"We didn't have many problems in our room," Launer-Campos said. "There was a little water that came through the fireplace. The dining hall closing was rather an inconvenience. It was annoying."

But other houses are not faring as well. Adams House will have no power today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Facilities Maintenance planned today's power outage in order to figure out the reason for last week's unexpected power failure in Adams.

Superintendent William B. Long said that Adams lost power last Monday from 2 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.

"We're trying to find the cause of that," Long said. "We don't want to have to deal with this problem in January at two in the morning. We're trying to avoid a catastrophe."

The power outage was originally planned from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m., but Long said he changed the schedule on Thursday.

"We couldn't have people stumbling around in the dark at seven or eight at night," Long said.

Adams residents said they are adjusting their schedules to the planned power outage.

Yu Chen '98, whose alarm clock did not go off last Monday morning because of the unexpected power outage, said, "[Today's] outage is not going to affect me that much, except that I can't use my computer."

FEMA Directory Tours Boston

Federal Energency Management Agency (FEMA) director James L. Witt, accompanied by executive associate director for response and recovery operations Lacy Suiter, inspected flood-damaged areas in Boston yesterday morning.

Flooding in the Boston area was initially so severe that Gov. William F. Weld '66 and Lt. Gov. A. Paul Cellucci declared a state of emergency last Monday. Witt toured Kenmore Square MBTA subway station and then walked through the Rosalindale neighborhood with Mayor Thomas Menino before leaving for Portland, Maine in the afternoon.

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