A month after Hurricane Sandy swept through the region, the Louis Calder Biological Field Station in Armonk continues to clean up the mess it left behind.
Like Fordham’s other campuses, the canter suffered little in the way of major damage. Strong winds did topple dozens of large trees though (not including those in the 113 acres of forest), including one that snapped a power cable, leading to a two-week period where the center was forced to run on generators.
John D. Wehr, Ph.D., the director of the center, said Calder was well-prepared for such an event, having recently installed three building-level power generators this year and one last year in each of the main buildings there.
Several houses on the perimeter of the grounds were left without heat or power, so residents there were moved into buildings with power.
John Spaccarelli, Director of Special Projects and Facilities Management, said there was only one scare,
near the original Lord and Burnham greenhouse, which was constructed in early-mid 1900’s.
“The closest call that we had was we had pine tree that fell alongside the greenhouse that’s attached to Calder Hall. It fell parallel to the greenhouse, not across it. If had gone across it, it would have chopped it in half,” he said.
Keeping the power humming was more that just a matter of comfort for the professors and students working there, Wehr explained.
“Being without power for that length of time after the storm would have been a disaster for our many people here. The loss of thousands of samples (water, DNA, microbes, plants, insect, etc.) from fridges, freezers, ovens, etc, would have set back or ended ongoing research programs, theses, or dissertations of many students and staff working here,” he said.
“This included research on water quality in upstate New York watersheds, long-term studies of deer ticks, bat hibernation, and green roof vegetation, among many others. But because we had the generators, we came though fine.”