Tree damage from derecho storm near Mears Cottage

2020 Storm Recovery

Update: Power has been restored to most of Grinnell.

As of 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, power was restored to the majority of campus. Low density access to academic and administrative buildings will resume at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16. We thank everyone for all of the good wishes they sent to us throughout the crisis.

On Monday, Aug. 10, just after noon, a severe thunderstorm known as a derecho ripped through Grinnell. The storm's high speed winds knocked down trees and power lines and caused significant damage to buildings throughout the area.

Our current assessment of the Grinnell College campus indicates substantial damage to trees but very little property damage. However, the Grinnell area has been without electrical power since the storm, and it is not expected to be restored until at least Saturday, Aug. 15.

Nonessential operations will remain suspended until power resumes on campus, allowing for ​necessary focus on the essential operations of Facilities Management and Dining Services.

Until power resumes, we are using the JRC as a student shelter space during the day. Faculty and staff are welcome to make use of outdoor wifi and charging areas around the JRC. We are working on making available additional access to wifi and power for course preparation. More detailed information will be provided as soon as possible.  

The College is partnering with the county on relief services and will be coordinating all the generous offers of help and support that have been pouring in from our community.

State links and resources

Community links

Resources for students (in or out of the State of Iowa):

  • Phone counselors are 24/7 available by calling the Need-to-Talk line at (641) 269-4404
  • Need-a-Nurse services can be accessed by calling Student Health and Counseling Services (641) 269-3230 and following the prompts
  • The Dean on-call can be reached by contacting Campus Safety (641) 269-4600
  • Chaplain's Office (641) 269-4981

Resources for faculty and staff:


Storm Recovery Updates

Student picks up a meal at the JRC after the 2020 derecho

2020 Storm Recovery Update 8-13-20

August 13, 2020 - Emergency operations to ensure food and shelter are now in place and we are prepared to adapt as changing conditions may dictate.
tree limbs and storm debris around the Class of 1980 rock in central campus

2020 Storm Update

Aug. 12, 2020 - Poweshiek County Emergency Management Agency estimates that Saturday, Aug. 15 is the “earliest and best-case scenario” for a restoration of electrical power, and Grinnell College’s Emergency Operations Team has turned its attention to longer-term planning and support.
Storm damage outside north campus residence halls

Start of Fall 1 Term Delayed to Monday, Aug. 31

Aug. 12, 2020 - Due to the damage and power outage caused by the Aug. 10 “derecho” severe thunderstorm, the start of classes has been delayed to Monday, Aug. 31.

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