It's not every day that you walk past 80-foot pines laying felled on the ground. That is the scene as one wanders through the apocalyptic devastation that is currently Whitworth University's campus following the historic wind storm Tuesday night. It is certainly a somber sight considering what the majestic pines mean to the Whitworth community.
The Whitworth campus has been a part of my life for three-plus years. The beautiful green grass, the noble yet understated buildings, the hundreds of trees, varying in species — these are all staples in the memories that I will hold of my days as a Pirate. There is still a large population of trees standing on campus, but estimates of 40-50 fallen trees—mostly the tall ponderosa pines—have surfaced in the days following the wind storm.
As a senior at Whitworth University, it is surreal to see the campus that I know and love in complete destruction. I snapped some photos of my point of view as I arrived on campus Friday morning.
My Day in Photographs:
The first sight as I arrived on campus Friday morning.
The worst damage occurred in the area of The Loop west of the Harriet Cheney Cowles Memorial Library. The Lindaman Center, home to the department of communication studies, philosophy and sociology, was hit hard by two Ponderosas.
Harriet Cheney Cowles Memorial Library was struck by a falling pine as well.
The path that students use to walk to classes in Hawthorne Hall. There are numerous reroutes of walking paths all over the Whitworth campus.
A large pine descended upon the roof of Hawthorne Hall Tuesday night. Although the tree has been cleared from the roof, a prominent branch can still be seen impaling the roofing (top left).
Several other Ponderosa Pines near Hawthorne Hall lost their battle with the wind on Tuesday night.
It is not easy for the Whitworth community to see the Pine Curtain in such a state. Surely the trees that fell will be replaced, but it will take decades for the young trees to fill the shoes of their towering predecessors. However, amidst the chaos and sadness there is a lot to be grateful for. With three significant buildings hit and 40-50 trees down, it is truly a miracle that nobody got hurt.
Classes resumed Thursday thanks to overnight efforts by hired contractors, and university maintenance staff continues to work to clear the fallen trees.