Indiana University Northwest announced today that it would cancel classes for a fourth straight day on Thursday, Sept. 18, as the campus begins to recover from substantial flooding that occurred in the wake of last weekend’s heavy rains.
All classes at the Gary campus and the Portage Instructional Site will be canceled and campus operations will remain suspended on Thursday. The Academic Learning Center in Merrillville will remain open, and classes scheduled for that venue will take place unless students are otherwise notified by their instructors. No decision has been made on campus operations for Friday, but IU Northwest follows a Monday-Wednesday, Tuesday-Thursday scheduling format, so there are very few Friday classes on campus.
Wednesday’s decision to remain closed on Sept. 18 was preceded by an announcement from the Office of Diversity and Equity that a presentation scheduled for Friday, Sept. 19, featuring Chicago native and acclaimed spoken-word artist Joe Hernandez-Kolski, would be postponed. An alternate date has not yet been determined. Hernandez-Kolski, who has performed on HBO and who appeared in this summer’s hit Will Smith movie “Hancock,” was to be the first of this year’s Diversity Speakers Series guests on campus.
University officials said on Wednesday that floodwaters in the campus commons areas had begun to recede, but that many campus parking areas remained under water. On Tuesday evening, many areas of campus were still flooded with anywhere from a few inches to a few feet of floodwater. Physical Plant employees continued to work on Wednesday to pump water out of the mechanical rooms or crawl spaces of several buildings, and parts of one building, Tamarack Hall, had lost power. Several other buildings had taken water into their basements.
IU Northwest closures are being determined on a day-to-day basis, with announcements being made as soon as possible on the previous day. Students, faculty and staff may check the IU Northwest home page and their campus email for alerts and updates. Voice and text messages also will be sent through IU Notify.