Updated 5 p.m. Dec. 12: Most employees are back in Surge II this afternoon after a structural engineer determined the building had not sustained serious damage when a tree fell onto it Thursday night (Dec. 11).
A few work stations had to be relocated, and Design and Construction Management is coordinating repairs to the building, said Michelle Arnold Dominguez, communications and training manager with Facilities Management.
The tree, a 50- to 60-foot-tall stone pine, will be turned into mulch and used on campus.
The storm had a relatively small impact elsewhere on campus, besides giving it a thorough drenching. Officials said extra preparation and a careful monitoring of storm drain conditions left the grounds in good shape.
Altogether this week, crews removed 642 cubic yards of leaves and small branches from campus, said Cary Avery, who heads Grounds and Landscape Services.
On Storify: UC Davis drenched by storm
11 a.m. Dec. 12: An employee sustained minor injuries when evacuating Surge II after a 50- to 60-foot tree fell onto the building Thursday night (Dec. 11) after a day of drenching rain: 2.72 inches over the last 24 hours.
Fire Chief Nate Trauernicht said the male employee was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Surge II, on Hutchison Drive in the central part of the campus, houses Academic Technology Services. No one will be allowed back into the building until Facilities Management structural engineers deem it safe.
The 35- to 40-year-old tree crashed down at about 7 p.m., its roots having come loose in the saturated soil. Grounds crews worked until midnight to clear the tree and returned this morning to finish the job — expecting to finish up around noon.
The rain measurement is from the Atmospheric Science program, which has gauges on campus land west of Highway 113.
5 p.m. Dec. 11: Today’s storm was soaking but mostly uneventful through the end of the workday, with campus officials crediting days of preparation with allowing for quick responses to any issues that popped up.
The National Weather Service reported 0.87 inches of rain and gusts of wind as strong as 44 miles per hour at the University Airport, west of Highway 113.
“We’ve done a lot of preparation work and the storm didn’t quite live up to expectations, so that’s good for the campus,” Utilities Director David Phillips said. He said the campus had not experienced any power failures.
Police and fire officials said they had not responded to any incidents related to the storm, and Facilities Management saw no significant flooding or leaks in any campus buildings.
Two small trees and some branches were knocked down but no large trees fell, said Cary Avery, head of Grounds and Landscape Services, part of Campus Planning and Community Resources. He said crews prevented flooding by working hard to keep drains clear.
“We did a lot of prep work this week and it really paid off,” Avery said. “The entire storm system worked very well and we were very fortunate.”
Noon Dec. 11: Today’s highly anticipated storm has brought strong winds and heavy rain to the Davis campus, but no significant damage as of the time of this posting, officials said.
As of 10 a.m., nearly four-tenths of an inch of rain had fallen in the area over the past 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service.
Campus crews were working to keep drains clear but had not encountered any significant flooding, said Cary Avery, head of Grounds and Landscape Services, part of Campus Planning and Community Resources. He said some branches had fallen, and one small tree had come down.
Avery urged people on campus to use caution — especially when bicycling in strong winds — and to watch for falling branches.
Classes continued in this week before finals, but at least a couple of brown bag programs had been canceled.
Facilities Management had no reports of any significant leaks or flooding in buildings. Allen Tollefson, assistant vice chancellor in charge of Facilities Management, said crews prepared ahead of time by placing sand bags in eight or nine areas that are prone to flooding during heavy rain.
“We’ve been preparing for three days for this storm,” Tollefson said. “It’s helpful to have some good warning.”
The Emergency Operations Center also was keeping tabs on the storm and its impacts on the campus. The Police and Fire departments had extra staff on hand, but had not responded to any incidents related to the storm.
Dec. 10: With heavy rain and wind expected tonight and Thursday (Dec. 10-11), emergency officials are urging caution when moving about the campus and, for once, advising against bicycling.
Officials said there are no plans at this time to suspend operations or cancel classes. Students with questions about specific classes should contact the instructors.
Officials acknowledged the possibility of power failures, and said some campus functions may take longer than usual as a result, or may be delayed due to staff availability.
The storm is expected to hit this area at about 10 o’clock tonight and continue through tomorrow.
To report storm damage or other problems (leaks, fallen trees, power issues, etc.), call the Facilities Management customer call center, (530) 752-1655. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
Campus updates will be posted here as information becomes available.