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Campus Recovers after Powerful Storm

A storm with high winds blew through Michiana in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, July 1, causing destruction across Bethel’s campus. Thankfully no one was injured and no buildings were seriously damaged.

According to Physical Plant Director Steve Yaw, five trees fell as a result of the wind and seven additional trees will need to come down due to storm damage. These include three trees by the Shiloh pond, two on the prairie, two by the admission office, and one each by Bridges Hall, Sailor Hall, Eastwood Hall, the campus safety office and the center pond. Sixteen additional trees lost significant limbs or tops.

The downed trees by the admission office caused damage to a light post, picnic table and several sections of sidewalk, and the power lines were ripped off the building. The power line for Shupe was also on the ground due to the storm, and a portion of the fence at the softball field was blown over. The entire campus lost power for 12 hours and as a result, offices were closed and activities canceled for the day.

More than 40 employees and volunteers pulled together and pitched in nearly 400 hours to clean up campus. Power has been restored to all areas of campus except for the admission office, which will be running on generator power until the line can be re-attached on July 5.

Visit the South Bend Tribune website for photos of storm damage throughout the area, including several of the Bethel admission office. If you would like information about donating towards replanting trees on campus, contact