Life in the eye of Storm Desmond
Everyone’s losing their shit
A minute by minute breakdown of the chaos of day four.
2015-15-07 11:53 – I tried my debit card in three different ATMs and none of them worked. Not sure if that was Storm Desmond’s fault, but I’m going to blame it nonetheless.
12:20 – Went into town in search of food, heard that the Crafty Scholar had given out free sandwiches the day before an would be doing the same again. No luck, but did get some pics.
12:47 – Back on campus after hearing that Refuel were doing free lunch.
13:54 – Trevor’s reopened and everything is 50% off. Time to drink.
14:05 – Apparent ugly scenes at the refugee camps last night as uni didn’t give out enough bedding for everyone and “people were like vultures, literally grabbing stuff out of each other’s hands. One of them tried to start a fight with me to get a bed pack, it was ridiculous”.
14:15 – Sultan’s could still cook on gas last night, but continued to charge.
14:18 – Pizetta were using gas cookers indoors with no electric ventilation, oh dear oh dear.
14:24 – The Army got brought in last night to move people from the surrounding area who needed medical attention to Royal Lancaster Infirmary including one comatose woman from Morcambe.
14:28 – Bowland Tower had three roof collapses, water flooded a porter in one of the elevators and apparently they removed a brick and it was like a waterfall so that’s probably gonna be structurally unsound for a while. Again.
15:00 – Uni procedure for something like this is for all college principals, deans & support staff (including JCRs) to come back and only Fylde’s did. Lonsdale had one person all night and Grizedale didn’t evacuate until 18:00 when they rang to ask another college what they were meant to be doing. That left them evacuating in pitch black.
A spokesperson for the uni said: “The safety of students is always our first concern, and on Sunday, and again on Monday we had to make the decision to relocate up to 6000 students to areas where we could provide warmth, light and food.”
15:12 – Uni didn’t tell Preston train station what was happening, it was left to assistant deans.
In response the uni said: “We also put on coaches to Preston to help students catch trains home if they wanted.
“We committed to trying to communicate with parents and students effectively throughout. Whilst some power has now been restored to the campus, the University is nevertheless running on restricted electrical supplies. This means we can’t yet run our operations as normal.
“We were overwhelmed by the understanding and cheerfulness of students – and the staff involved have received lots of positive comments.”
15:20 – Power’s out again, emergency lighting’s charged over the day so we have about three and a half hours before we have to evacuate all over again. Hooray.
15:25 – No-one knows why eduroam is surviving considering it barely lasts a normal day without dropping out every hour.
15:46 – Morale remains high, however, with people taking to pianos and guitars to lighten the mood and people commenting that the atmosphere last night was “actually quite nice when it wasn’t scary” and that “when people have no wi-fi they actually sit and talk and it’s nice”.
15:55 – Pendle JCR still around numbers two people because they weren’t told about being supposed to stick around.
16:15 – Someone lit a Furness bin on fire last night as an act of vandalism – more interesting vandalism includes cars and shops getting looted in town, windows broken.
16:16 – Evacuation plan is to get NW campus to the LICA building and SE to Barker House Farm/Cartmel bar. We now know just what it takes to get being into Cartmel bar.
16:31 – A bunch of flats flooded this morning because people left taps on and when the power came on – well…
17:20 – The new Engineering building’s been looted – they don’t know what’s been robbed yet (might be technical then) but it’s something big.
17:44 – Free dinner at Refuel.
18:01- A lot of pubs are the only places in town with power – more alcohol hooray.
18:15 – We’ve gone into town to look for anywhere serving food. It’s abandoned. Completely empty, police everywhere, people in their takeaways and stuff standing guard.
18:17 – Ran into some people who looked like they were looting whilst hunting through the abandoned city centre for food – I’m literally in Fallout.
18:56 – The assistant dean said the Engineering building was robbed by two 13 year olds who had been seen on campus during the day – they were seen carrying something and ran off into the night. Porter couldn’t catch up so they just locked down the building. Still dunno what got robbed.
19:11- Cars on campus apparently getting broken into. Anyone caught walking around campus getting swept up by security. Furness ghetto has flooded. Police on campus too.
19:19 – Uni issue statement assuring that all accommodation is untouched.
20:15 – Power coming back through town, including the house I’m staying at. Food is cooked, showers are had, phones are charged.