Snow storm halts campus activities
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 02:02
Brandeis facilities staff and students continue to dig out from over two feet of snow in the aftermath of Winter Storm Nemo, the blizzard that forced the University to cancel classes on Friday and prompted Gov. Deval Patrick to call for a 24-hour driving ban starting Friday and ending on Saturday.
Although the University resumed classes on Monday, with only light rain slicking the campus paths, Waltham and Boston public schools remained closed.
The greater Boston area recorded about 25 inches of snow, according to the Weather Channel.
University President Frederick Lawrence sent out a thank-you email on Monday, commending the “heroic efforts” of Brandeis staff over the weekend, including facilities and dining services workers.
Facilities Services staff, as well as additional support staff from Antico Snow Removal, were shoveling out campus during the storm on Friday and well into Sunday.
“I think we got through a very difficult weekend due to the collective efforts of a lot of people across all the units within the University,” wrote Collins in an email to the Justice.
Collins added that there were “a few isolated facilities issues (pipe breaks)” over the weekend, but they were a result of deferred maintenance, not the storm. Leakages in residence halls and an academic building were also reported due to the rain on Monday.
The main dining halls remained open on relatively normal schedules over the weekend, with staff forced to stay at the University overnight due to the inclement weather and the driving ban, which started at 4 p.m. on Friday.
“We prepared well for the storm,” wrote Director of Dining Services Aaron Bennos in an email to the Justice, adding that extra food had been ordered in anticipation of the winter storm.
According to Bennos, some cooks and managers, including himself, spent the night at the faculty club lodge, while other managers stayed at a local hotel. Bennos added that he personally was able to pick up six employees who live in Waltham on Saturday, as his four-wheel drive “came in handy.”
“I feel the entire dining team were [sic] outstanding especially knowing they have families at home and were concerned as I was,” wrote Bennos. “I cannot thank them enough for their tireless effort and dedication.”
Several students took advantage of the day off to go sledding—and even skiing—on the hill beside Farber Library.
“Once it stopped snowing, I went out with other members of the [ski] team and built two large jumps towards the bottom of the hill,” wrote Ski Team Captain Jesse Manning ’13 in an email to the Justice. “We stayed out there till around 1 in the morning. It was awesome.”
Many citizens in the area experienced trouble digging their cars out after the storm had passed, leaving snow drifts that almost entirely covered some vehicles.
“They had piled a snow bank directly behind my car,” said Tori Allen ’15 in an interview with the Justice. Allen said that when she discovered her car buried in J lot after the storm, she called Public Safety for help, but was told that their staff had all gone home.
A man from the company Brandeis hired as support staff, who was plowing the parking lot nearby, helped to clear her way with a snow removal vehicle, she said.
Brandeis’ “severe weather” email account sent out an alert on Sunday night, advising commuters to take public transportation or carpool if possible, as some parking lots on campus had yet to be completely cleared and mounds of snow that had been plowed took up space in the lots.
The email said that snow-clearing efforts would continue through Monday.
While the weekend Boston and Cambridge shuttles were suspended, the Crystal Shuttle operated on the BranVan’s usual evening routes around campus and in Waltham on Friday and Saturday.
According to reports from the Associated Press, over 126,000 people in Massachusetts were still without power as of press time. That number is down from about 400,000 at the peak of outages.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority resumed regular subway, commuter rail and bus service on Monday, having started to run a shorter schedule of the T on Sunday afternoon, according to the Boston Globe.