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Sorority gets wet; frat gets hammered

By Heidi A. De Vries

After being battered by two storms in the last three weeks, Central Floridians have another worry on their minds - Hurricane Ivan.

Ivan formed Sunday in the central Atlantic Ocean. Now a Category 4 storm with winds reported yesterday at 140 mph, Ivan is moving steadily west. Weather forecasters predict the storm will pass over Jamaica on Friday and near Cuba over the weekend. It's too early to tell if Ivan will hit Florida.

But UCF officials say - just in case - they will be ready. "We're watching it," Tom Evelyn, assistant director of UCF News and Information, said.

Clean-up from Hurricane Frances, which hovered over Florida between Friday and Monday, is a collaborative effort from the wreckage of both hurricanes.

Two Greek houses are suffering the most visible damage from the last storm.

Sorority house Alpha Delta Pi had damage on the roof, which caved in after the storm. "The day after Frances, everyone left so that we could access the damage," sorority President Katie McDaniel said.

The 33 women who lived in the house had no idea the damage they were going to come back to. "During the storm, we could hear it outside and it sounded rough, but we didn't know it was going to hurt the house," she said.

Because the rain sat on the roof overnight and it continued to rain on Monday and Tuesday, the damage collapsed the roof in three bedrooms, the library and the chapter room. Except for the chapter room, all the rooms were on the top floor of the house.

McDaniel said the carpets will need to be ripped up and replaced, the walls will need to be repainted and the light fixtures will all have to be replaced. The mattresses in the three bedrooms were also replaced. Currently, all members that lived in the house are living in the Hilton.

"[The contractors] said we'd be able to move in within a month or a month and a half," McDaniel said. "But they're working really fast. We may be able to move back in two or so weeks."

Victor Ruiz, the vice president of finance at Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, said damage at the Sig Ep house was "severe."

"Charley damaged the roof severely," he said. The fraternity couldn't have the roof fixed between Charley and Frances, so took their chances by securing the roof with a tarp.

"The tarp was ripped off and left it open to the elements," Ruiz said. "We had about four inches of water in the house and some rooms were completely flooded, to the point where beds and futons were soaked."

Yesterday, a construction crew spent the morning repairing the roof. "They were up there hammering in the rain, they really were working hard for us." This time, the fraternity had the help of a member's father who owned a roofing company and offered to help out.

Seven rooms were destroyed from the water damage, displacing 14 members into a Holiday Inn. "Worst-case scenario puts them there for two months, but it could be as little as two weeks," he said. Currently, the bathrooms, electricity and the Internet are all functioning.

"Our house and roof is actually going to be a lot better," Ruiz said, "we were in need of some repairs, and now they're getting done." Ruiz added that the members hope to have at least the bottom floor of the house accessible for fraternity rush, which starts next Wednesday.

Frances did "a lot of minor water damage," Evelyn said, to a variety of building on campus.

Buildings harmed by Frances' angry sheets of rain and shrieking winds included Classroom Building I, the Arena, the Academy for Teaching and the Library.

The Library suffered the most damage, campus officials said. A leak in the roof caused water to seep into the building's fifth floor. Campus employees quickly covered bookshelves with tarps.

Twenty dehumidifiers and an assortment of fans were brought in, too. The thought was that the moisture in the air could affect the books, Evelyn said.

Physical Plant employees have already patched the leak.

Though Charley's rains rusted most of the 73 electrical workout machines and 18,000 pounds of free weights when the roof ripped off the Recreation and Wellness Center on Aug. 13, Frances caused no additional damage to the building.

Some local apartment complexes, including Pegasus Landing and Pegasus Pointe apartments, did not have Internet or telephone services during the storm. Many report that these utilities are now working.

The UCF Cocoa, Melbourne and Palm Bay branch campuses will re-open for faculty and students on Monday. Plans to resume classes on Monday at the Daytona Beach and Deland campuses have not been finalized. Students, faculty and staff needing updates for those campuses can call 407-823-5334 for more information.
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