28 August 2011 • SVOTS Campus • By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick
Faculty, staff, and students hunkered downand waited for Tropical Storm Irene to barrel through our campus in the wee hours of Sunday morning. They had taken precautions, stocking up on water, flashlights, batteries,and non-perishable foods. "Go Bags" were packed, and bathtubs and odd containers were filled with extra water. Any items that could become ballistic missiles in a hurricane were taken from patios and stored safely inside. But the storm consisted mainly of fairly strong winds and heavy rain, and in its aftermath, community residents realized that they had fared much better than most in the New York metro area.
"Other than two downed trees next to the community garden, and some leaks in the windows of the Rangos Building and chapel," said Chancellor/CEO Fr. Chad Hatfield, "it doesn't appear that we suffered much damage. Especially, we are grateful that everyone is safe."
The storm, with winds up to 65 m.p.h. and rising rivers that flooded out roads and residences in other parts of
Yonkers and Westchester County, hardly nicked the campus. Even Troublesome Brook, which usually meanders and babbles lazily through the seminary property, remained contained as it sped through its banks.
"The one person really adversely affected by the storm seems to be our Plant Manager, Rafael Rivera," noted Fr. Chad. "He's been up since 5 a.m. mopping up the Rangos foyer!"
Both Great Vespers, 6:30 p.m. tonight, and Divine Liturgy, 7 a.m. tomorrow, for the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, remained scheduled. A litefor the repose of newly departed Archbishop Dmitri  will be served following Great Vespers.
Classes for the 2011–2012 Academic Year commence Monday, August 29th.