The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

April 14, 2006 (Updated Monday, April 17, 2006 8:56 AM )

NOTE: This is a corrected release, which replaces the phone number listed to make an appointment with the University Counseling Service.

Photo: The Alpha Chi Omega sorority house at the corner of Washington Avenue and Governor Street was extensively damaged in Thursday night's storms. University Relations has produced several galleries of photos of storm-related damage:

Gallery 1 Gallery 4
Gallery 2 Gallery 5
Gallery 3 Gallery 6

University Spared Extensive Storm Damage; Shelter Set Up For Displaced Students

[Note: An ongoing update of storm-related news from the University of Iowa can be found on the university Web site at]

Tornadoes that caused extensive damage to Iowa City left the University of Iowa largely unscathed Thursday night, but the university and the Red Cross are working together to help university students displaced by storm damage in other parts of the city.

A temporary shelter has been set up in the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) to help students whose homes suffered damage from the storm, said Belinda Marner, associate vice president of student services. Thirteen students stayed in the IMU shelter Thursday night, she said. In addition, she said the Red Cross began providing meals to displaced students starting with breakfast this morning. (To donated to the Red Cross, visit

Marner said the university has also expanded its counseling services by adding additional appointments on Friday. Students should call 319-335-7294 to make an appointment. The University Counseling Service Web site has a link to information on coping with these kinds of events. To access the link, go to the UCS home page, and then click on a link titled "Coping with Natural Disasters."

The UI Hospitals and Clinics will also help its staff, faculty, volunteers and student employees whose homes and property were damaged by the storms by matching up people who need help with people who are offering assistance.

Given the strength of the storm and the extent of the damage it caused in Iowa City, the university campus escaped relatively unscathed with little damage and no injuries. Don Guckert, associate vice president of facilities management, said the bulk of the campus reported only minor damage, mostly from broken windows and downed trees.

Extensive damage did occur at the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house at the corner of Washington Avenue and Governor Street, which had its roof torn off and an exterior wall collapse as the result of a tornado hit, according to Marsha Grady, the sorority's advisor. However, none of the 43 women who live in the house was injured, she said. The residents will be put up temporarily with other sorority members who live in private housing or at the Iowa House Hotel in the IMU, and then will move into the vacant Phi Gamma Delta home next week for the remainder of the semester, she said.

Grady said the residents were in the basement of the house at the time the tornado hit. She said long-term plans for the house will be made later, after structural engineers perform a building assessment today.

John Josten, assistant director of facilities and operations for the Department of Residence Services, said all of the university's residence halls appeared to have escaped damage, according to a preliminary assessment performed on the buildings Thursday night. He said a second assessment will be performed through the day on Friday.

While classes were canceled Friday as a result of the storm, they will resume as scheduled on Saturday and beyond. Dance and theater recitals scheduled for North Hall and the university theater for Friday night will also go on as scheduled. Please consult for up to date information on arts events.

Guckert said that what damage there was to university property was concentrated in the southeast corner of campus, home mostly to administration support facilities. The only significant university damage occurred to the motor pool headquarters, located at the corner of Madison and Prentiss. Mike Wilson, motor pool manager, said the building appears to have taken a direct hit from the tornado and is a total loss. He said the motor pool fleet escaped relatively unharmed, with 31 cars suffering minor damage, and most of that is broken glass caused by hail.

The Cambus operations also suffered minor damage, with one mini-bus a total loss and minor damage to three standard-sized busses. Brian McClatchey, Cambus manager, said one route has been temporarily cancelled-the East Cambus Shuttle-because much of its operating route is on streets that are closed. Otherwise, he said Cambus is operating its full schedule, with some route realignments through downtown to avoid storm-damaged areas.

The UI Libraries reports no damage to its facilities, though two of its branches--Physics and Geosciences—were temporarily closed Friday morning as their buildings were inspected. The Art branch was also closed because no staff members were available to work it.

The University of Iowa Student Government is also providing basic toiletry items to displaced students that can be picked up in the UISG office in the IMU after 4 p.m. on Friday. The UISG is also coordinating a student volunteer drive to help with relief efforts. Those interested in participating can call the UISG at 319-335-3860.

Although classes were canceled Friday, most parts of the university were open for business as usual. However, those workers unable to perform their jobs as usual because of storm damage have been asked to contact their supervisors, said Sue Buckley, vice president of human resources. She said that according to the university's disrupted workplace policy, the university will make every effort to help those workers find alternative work arrangements so they can continue to work.

At the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 12 patients were treated for storm-related injuries, all of them minor, said Tom Moore, media coordinator of the Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications. Two of them were admitted for further treatment. He said the hospital did place its Emergency Treatment Center on alert, but did not call in its Disaster Response Team.

Nancy Kraft, director of the University of Iowa Libraries' Preservation Department, said experts will be available to help people who have suffered storm damage to their keepsakes and belongings. She said most of them often can be salvaged by simply allowing them to dry and then clean later or can be gently rinsed and stored in a freezer to be dealt with later. She said preservation department staff are available for consultation at 335-5908.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552,; Linda Kettner, 319-384-0030,; Writer: Tom Snee