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The aftermath of Hurricane Idalia causing potential seven week clean up

Ever since Hurricane Idalia hit the city of Valdosta, Georgia, on Aug. 30, 2023, Valdosta State University has made efforts to clean and restore what has been lost.

A campus-wide power outage occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 10:30 a.m. Generators were active during the power outage throughout the VSU Police Department, Information Technology systems, and VSU Emergency Operations Center, but not in residential halls. Power began restoration on campus Friday, Sept. 1, and the last building was restored with power on Thursday, Sept. 7.

Initially, 166 trees were recorded as snapped or fallen on VSU’s campus. An additional 20 to 25 trees were lost due to destabilization.

“We currently estimate that VSU lost more than 200 trees due to Hurricane Idalia,” Monica Haynes, Landscape and Ground Superintendent, said. “We do plan to do some future plantings once we evaluate where the need is greatest.”

Several facilities on campus suffered tree damage, including both of the softball and baseball batting cages, Langdale Hall, Georgia Hall, Former FCA House, and multiple fences on campus property.

Campus is slowly but surely recovering from tree debris.

“VSU is utilizing public debris removal services provided by the City of Valdosta as well as engaging our own contractors for debris removal,” Alan Rowe, Director of Public Safety and Chief of VSU Police Department, said. “County-wide estimates top 1 million cubic yards of tree debris. I anticipate campus and the city could take five-seven weeks or longer to completely clear all debris.”

Written by Kennedy Hill, Photo Editor. Photos courtesy of Kennedy Hill, Photo Editor and Jessica Pope, VSU Media Relations.

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