Winter storm Juno hits UNH

Leah Myers

Winter Storm Juno covered most of New England and the University of New Haven with snow from mid-morning on Jan. 26 to mid-afternoon on Jan. 27.

Kayo field being cleared after the first storm (Photo by Leah Myers / Charger Bulletin Photo)
Kayo field being cleared after the first storm (Photo by Leah Myers / Charger Bulletin Photo)

West Haven and most other parts of Connecticut accumulated about a foot of snow, while the Boston area horded up to three feet. Juno was predicted to be a historic blizzard like the ones Connecticut has seen the past few years.

Edward M. O’Brien, mayor of West Haven, declared a snow emergency on the town, which banned parking on the streets. It was in effect from 4 p.m. Jan. 26, until 4 p.m. Wed, Jan.28.

Dannel Malloy, governor of Connecticut, called a statewide emergency and placed a travel ban on major roads; this went into effect at 9 p.m. on Monday night. The travel ban was lifted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

To make sure UNH would be prepared for the worst, classes on Monday that started after 12 p.m. were cancelled and the campus closed at 12:30. Services such as the shuttles/vans, stores and food were shut down earlier than when normally scheduled. Campus remained closed on Tuesday.

FöD and The Marketplace were opened on Tuesday for reduced hours, serving brunch and dinner. Throughout Tuesday, other eateries opened up for reduced hours.
As the storm started to recede in the late morning, the Beckerman Recreation Center opened from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, all services opened up and resumed their normal hours. Campus opened at 10 a.m., which means that classes that started before then were cancelled in order to complete the snowplowing process both on-campus and on local roads.

Students were asked to move their cars into the Westside Hall parking garage or the other residential parking lots to accommodate the snowplows.

Students and parents were notified of the campus closings and openings via text, email, and phone call. All services closings and openings along with campus status updates were announced though the UNH email accounts.

The storm was a challenge to handle despite the fair amount of snow that fell. Louis C. Annino Jr., Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer, said, “this was largely because plowed snow was quickly replaced by the wind.”

Wind gusts were measured up to 31 MPH during Tuesday’s portion of the storm according to wunderground.com.

During any other snowstorm, Campus Police and the Facilities Department work really hard to maintain everyone’s safety and to efficiently clear the snow that would otherwise obstruct normal campus activity.

No accidents occurred with the exception of a minor car accident on Wednesday. The only injury that occurred during the storm was someone who slipped.

“There were less injuries reported during this storm than during a normal week, and that can be attributed to everyone being less active,” said Chief Mark DeLieto, head chief of campus police.

Because the snow continued to fall throughout the night, plows were constantly on the campus roads removing the snow. According DeLieto, many facility members partaking in the cleanup took 12 to 16 hour shifts and stayed over night. This included the police officers, which would remain on duty.

No matter the situation, Campus Police and the Facility Dept. do everything they can to provide a safe and practical experience for the students and staff here on campus.

Students were advised to stock up on food and necessities, in which residential students responded with trips to the C-store and Shoprite. Once the snow took over, many students did not stray too far from their dorms, not even for a run to the C-Store.

Residential students from around the New England area are used to such weather. Maia Stickles, a freshman from Connecticut, said that Juno was “not as bad as they were referring to [on the news].”

All parts of Connecticut have faced tougher storms with more snow accumulation and very low temperatures in prior years.

Most students were not worried about missing classes, with part of the reason being that the spring semester has just started. The professors, however, are at least concerned about catching their classes up on work and planning around more snow days.

Jason DeGroff, the Music Director at UNH, is one of the many members of the teaching staff that has not been able to meet with a class for the first time this semester. On Jan. 26, one of his ensembles that are held once a week were canceled, and they have to wait another week before they can meet for the first time. This is critical for the performing students because they have not performed as a group since before winter break. If more snow days appear, DeGroff said he’d try to extend rehearsal time to make up for lost time.

Water from the melted snow unfortunately seeped though the roof of the Band Building in Charger Plaza, soaking the firebox, and activating the fire alarm on Wednesday morning.

Less than an inch of snow fell on Jan. 30. UNH announced beforehand that the campus and all services would remain open that day, under nearly most circumstances.

Another storm has hit New England on the evening of Feb.1, which started around 10 p.m. The snow turned into sleet during the night and has continued as snow throughout the afternoon.

UNH announced at 10 p.m. Sunday night that campus was closed Feb. 2 until 5:30 p.m. and that a decision about evening classes will be made the next day. At 1:45 p.m. Monday, UNH announced that evening classes at both the West Haven and Orange campuses have been cancelled.

The dining halls served brunch and dinner with reduced hours for other food/activity services. The West Haven campus delayed their opening to 10 a.m. on Feb. 3.

Even more impending snow storms are predicted for Wednesday into Thursday and the upcoming weekend.