Move-in day altered for Iowa State students due to power outage


The power outage due to severe weather conditions slowed down the process of testing Iowa State students for COVID-19 and getting them moved in.

Sage Smith

Power is back on for Iowa State’s residence halls after severe weather caused an outage, but not before it presented some challenges for students moving in.

Pete Englin, assistant vice president for the Department of Residence, was at Lied Recreation Athletic Center when he was told Monday’s derecho was expected to hit Ames around 11 a.m. Monday. This suspended the process of students getting tested for COVID-19 and moving in.

“We did have, in our halls, a number of folks move to shelter and place locations for the about 45 minutes the storm came through,” Englin said. “But everything went smoothly to our knowledge.”

While seeking shelter, they had to be mindful of utilizing face coverings, as social distancing.  became a limited option. Englin said they weren’t at full capacity because not all students remained on campus after checking in, so they could “space themselves out as best they could.”

Testing for COVID-19 resumed around 1:30 p.m. after the storm passed, and Englin said they tested and checked in the “number of people that we needed.”

Then, as they settled back into the check-in process, their laptops began to run out of power. So they went the old fashioned way with pen and paper to write out students’ information and were able to enter everything into the contracting system when power was restored.

The power outage also meant appliances in the dining halls were out of operation, causing the menu to be adjusted. Englin said power was back on around 10 p.m. Monday, so residential dining and retail spaces were back up and running by Tuesday morning.

The testing and check-in site for move in also experienced a delay Tuesday. The site didn’t open until noon, so those originally scheduled to move in between 8 a.m. and noon were asked to come between noon and 4 p.m.

“We checked in everyone that was expected to be checked in [Tuesday],” Englin said. “So we had around 600 folks that were scheduled, and, even with the late start time, we were able to get everybody in.”