A strong gust of wind near midday caused a huge portion of a towering beech in front of Wilder Hall to break from the tree and topple, striking first the northwest portion of the building's roof and then falling to the ground and a porch structure below. Damage is visible to the roof, which is over unoccupied attic space. The porch is also significantly damaged. The beech is more than 100 years old.
In addition to public safety, facilities management, and other Mount Holyoke officials, response by fire, police, and other public safety officers from South Hadley was rapid.
Cleanup efforts are now underway. The South Hadley building inspector assessed the building. Repairs are needed, but the residence hall has been determined to be structurally sound. The damaged tree was removed Monday, February 20. The area encountered high winds at various points February 17, resulting in a number of reports of trees and branches falling in the Pioneer Valley.