April 24, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Renowned rabbi discusses the role of religion in American policy -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UMass baseball haunted by missed opportunities in 8-5 loss -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Transcendence’ a fumbling cautionary tale -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Freedom of speech for campus employees -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Veep’ continues to be one of the smartest comedies around -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Noah’ a sinking ship -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Letter: A response to ‘There is nothing to debate about global warming’ -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Push for punishment equality -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UMass baseball lacks aggressiveness, misses opportunities in loss -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Police Log Friday, April 18 – Sunday, April 20, 2014 -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UMass student spends spring break studying sustainability abroad -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Boston Marathon 2014: A day to remember -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UMass baseball falls short in second straight Beanpot final -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fashion faux-pas to fend off at music festivals -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The meaning of Easter -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Is Beyoncé a ‘fashion queen’ or just The Queen? -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Protect Our Breasts holds Earth Day Yogathon -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UMass holds annual Native American Powwow -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Israel a hub for diversity -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UMass rowing earns five first place finishes on Friday, two on Saturday in weekend action -

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Storm dumps two feet of snow on UMass campus

Nathalie Sczublewski/Collegian

The massive storm that pummeled much of New England over the weekend dumped almost 2 feet of snow on the area, but it spared the University of Massachusetts campus of any power outages or major damage.

There were no storm-related injuries reported in the area, according to UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.

Brittany Decker, a meteorologist at Springfield-based WGGB-TV abc40, said the storm was “one for the record books.”

Westover Air Reserve Base, which calculates the official snowfall records for the area, recorded 20 inches of snow, an amount that nearly reached the 1949 record of 22 inches, Decker said.

In western Massachusetts, most areas saw between 1½ to 2 full feet of snow. Southwick saw the most snowfall, with about 28 inches gauged, according to Decker.

While the brunt of the storm arrived Friday evening into Saturday morning, officials decided to close campus from noon on Friday until midnight on Sunday.

The campus was originally supposed to reopen on Saturday at noon, but Blaguszewski said officials extended the break to give those clearing the snow a bit more time to work.

“Even with a large crew and equipment, it takes some time,” he said. “There’s a lot of snow to move. The Physical Plant has been working very hard and making great progress, but we decided it was best to provide them with more time to clear things out.”

On-campus storm cleanup and safety procedures, Blaguszewski said, included efforts from staff at the Physical Plant, who cleared sidewalks and parking lots; members of Residential Life, who made sure students were safe in their dorms; and dining hall staff, who made sure that on-campus food services were running smoothly during the storm. Campus police and public safety officials met regularly to ensure that all procedures were being followed, he said.

“We pull the whole team together,” Blaguszewski added.

Many students, meantime, hunkered down when the worst of the storm arrived.

Freshman Susmitha Saripalli, who lives in Dickinson Hall in the Orchard Hill Residential Area, said that she stocked up on food ahead of the storm. Besides that, though, she didn’t have to prepare much else.

Saripalli praised the communication tools the University used to inform students of storm precautions.

“I thought we were all well informed and, because of that, well prepared,” she said.

The University has a variety of ways in which to communicate to students about emergency situations or bad weather, from email and radio to Twitter and text messaging. Blaguszewski said it is “standard emergency practice” to keep those providing updates to the UMass community alert “round the clock.”

Kelsey Pratto, who lives in Wheeler Hall in the Central Residential Area, also thought the University did well with keeping students updated. Pratto described Friday night as being “like a regular Friday night, just less mobility.”

On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Deval Patrick lifted a travel ban that went to effect at 4 p.m. Friday. The order barred everyone but essential personnel and news media from traveling on roads.

Eleven deaths in the Northeast have been blamed on the storm, according to published reports.

Mitch Scuzzarella and George Felder contributed to this report. Chelsie Field can be reached at cfield@student.umass.edu.

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