Flooding forced the evacuation of 19 students from State Hall after the building sustained significant damage during a thunderstorm on Aug. 21, a day after many students moved in.
UCA sustained damages to different areas of campus, but the most notable was the roof of State Hall. The students evacuated from the dorm were located on the third floor of the women’s section.
A 25-foot segment of the roof was also blown off during the storm.
Johnna Moore and Ashli Peoples were among the affected students.
“The water came down the side of the building and started going in on every crack,” Peoples said.
All 19 students returned to their rooms the next day. Moore and Peoples said they thought UCA handled the situation very well.
Freshman Lance Parrish had just walked outside State Hall when the storm began.
“A crowd of 12-13 people gathered outside to watch the storm before the State Hall RAs told us to come inside,” Parrish said.
The group stayed downstairs in the State Hall lobby for 20 to 25 minutes as the storm continued outside.
Before the storm ended, police officers were on the scene to determine whether the room floors were stable enough to allow students to return to their rooms. After a short time, all State Hall men and the first and second floor women were allowed to return to their rooms. State Hall was not the only UCA building damaged by the storm. The flooding on campus caused damage to Bernard Hall, Torreyson Library and the Prince Center.
None of the buildings suffered significant amounts of damage. However, several trees on campus were also damaged by high winds and lightning.
While some students were inside buildings during the storm, others were caught in the middle of the storm. Among those were freshmen Jennifer Hoornstra and Cody Stafford.
“The lightning was right over us,” Hoornstra said. “One time it was really close, and I grabbed the fire hydrant because I thought I was going to slip because of the rushing water and wind.”
Stafford was not as lucky.
“We were getting out of the car and ran across the parking lot and I slipped beside one of the buildings,” he said. “Jennifer wentt to help me and almost fell.”