MCC Faces Costly Damage after Severe Thunderstorm


Estimates for last week’s storm have already reached over $200,000. MCC’s campus had considerable damage including nearly 50 downed trees after the event. (Photo by Lance Klemple).

Aaron Petersen, Contributing Writer

Muskegon Community College caught the broad end of the severe thunderstorm that had occurred September 12, with estimated damages reaching more than $200,000 to campus grounds in repairs. Other repairs are currently awaiting estimates.

Multiple areas across campus experienced uprooted trees due to the strong, 50 mph winds that swept the county. Dr. John Selmon, Provost and Executive Vice President at MCC, commented on replanting trees in the aforementioned areas.

“Yes, over time,” he said. “A tree and shrub maintenance, replanting and revitalization consideration plan would most definitely be within (Grounds) budget plan long term. This would also include consideration for the remaining trees – pest management, oak wilt action, and fertilization.”

Students off-campus also experienced inconvenience, as most of MCC’s online services, were down for approximately 27 hours, from 3:18 pm on September 12 to 7:30 pm on September 13, while tech support rushed to restore connection to the servers to make up for the lost time.

“These included MyMCC, the login page, file storage, student registrations, academic program-specific systems, and many others,” said Steven Wilson, Chief Information Officer at MCC. “These systems had to be shut down when power was lost to the campus.”

Due to server downtime, most of, if not all, MCC instructors extended their homework deadlines a day further than originally anticipated for students

“I am satisfied that staff (including faculty) are doing well and responded well,” said Dr. Dale Nesbary, President of MCC.  “Particularly MCC physical plant and technology staff.  I will also credit Region 6 Emergency Management, local law enforcement, and Consumers Energy for their continued effort in getting our region back to normal.  Keep in mind that storm damage occurred as far north as Traverse City, so emergency responders will have their hands full for weeks.”