Storm damages Whitworth campus

Storm damages Whitworth campus

SPOKANE, Wash. - Church service was held outside Sunday morning at Whitworth Presbyterian after two trees claimed the roof of their building on West Hawthorne Road.

"It's not so bad if you look inside," Pastor Daniel White said. "Some ceiling tiles are gone, there is one branch sticking inside the building, but it's more of a concern of what the structural damage is going to be."

Worship music came with a faint sound of chainsaws as crews cleared fallen trees on the Whitworth University campus. It was a scene all too familiar for President Beck Taylor. He said he thought they dodged a bullet with the last storm.

"We had a few trees the first storm, very minimal structural damage," Taylor said. "This storm was of course a lot worse."

Outside the student dining facility, it's much like a tree graveyard. At least 10 full grown pines were uprooted in that one area. On the other side of campus, trees found their new home on top of dorm buildings. Luckily no one was injured.

"It could have been a lot worse, but we have time to clean up before our new students arrive in late August," Taylor said.

Take a quick trip outside of campus and you'd find yourself in a cluster of chaos. The power outage created a traffic nightmare on busy streets in the Wandermere area. It also forced some businesses to close down. Jack In The Box on Hawthorne and Division posted a sign on their door this afternoon that reads, "We are out of power at the moment. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you, Jack." But just like the members at Whitworth Presbyterian Church said today, the show must go on.

"We will have worship," Pastor Daniel said. "We just don't where it will be."

In the meantime, let the work begin. Whitworth will resume regular activities while storm cleanup continues.