The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Boston headquarters will remain closed on Friday, January 5, after its neighborhood flooded in a powerful winter storm. Although many UUA staff are working from home—and many already work from locations across the United States—the UUA’s phone, email, and some database systems are temporarily offline.
UUA officials do not yet know when the Boston headquarters can reopen.
[Update 1/8/18: Staff from the Operations and Information Technology staff groups worked through the weekend to restore services, and the building reopened Monday morning, January 8.]
Carey McDonald, acting chief operating officer, issued the statement below to UU World about the status of the six-story office building the UUA owns in Boston’s Seaport District. The UUA occupies the first three floors; it leases the upper floors to corporate tenants. The building’s basement parking level has been flooded.
The UUA’s headquarters building at 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston will be closed tomorrow (Friday, Jan 5) for the second day in the row because of the intense winter storm hitting the Northeast. Like much of central Boston, the Seaport neighborhood (where the UUA building is located) is experiencing historically high storm surge flooding. High tide around noon today was influenced both by the “bomb cyclone” storm and by the full moon, and is yet another reminder of the need to confront the disastrous impacts of climate change.
We know Farnsworth Street has flooded and there is water in the UUA building’s lower level parking garage. The main concern with the flooding at this point is the building’s electrical systems, whose control panels are located in the basement garage. The UUA’s emergency plans have been activated, and we’ve switched over to our cloud-based back up servers for our computer and phone systems. We will need to inspect the electrical system before the building can be reopened. Staff members are being kept up to date via text messaging service, and UUA.org has a notice that phone and email may experience disruptions. Our operations department is closely coordinating with the Boston Fire Department, and is keeping the other building tenants notified of the situation. We hope to know more over the next 24 hours as the storm fades and we are able to do a full on-site assessment.