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Storm wreaks havoc on weekend events

In the days leading up to winter storm Nemo – a blizzard that would bring more than three feet of snow to some parts of the Northeastern region of the country – Vice President of Public Safety Thomas Lawrence was constantly watching the weather updates, anticipating if and when to close the school.

At about 1:30 p.m. on Fri. Feb. 8, the decision was made – the University’s emergency notification update sent out a message saying that all New York campuses would be closed from that Friday until Feb. 10.

After the week-long closure due to Superstorm Sandy, Lawrence said there were vital steps taken to ensure a smoother recovery process, if necessary. This included having backup generators already in place, putting fuel in all necessary vehicles and affording resident students the chance to go home, if they live close to campus.

“Each department had their critical people here in the event that there was an emergency during the snowstorm,” he said. “Things like that are things we learned from Sandy.”

Queens was spared the brunt of Nemo’s impact, only receiving up to a foot. Lawrence said, unlike Sandy, no major damages were sustained during the storm.

Senior Nicole Stanley, a native of California, said she personally enjoyed the snow since it is something she has experienced very few times before.

“Since I’ve lived in warm places all my life, I’m always excited for snow,” Stanley said, adding that she even went outside to play in the snow.

“The day after, I thought it was beautiful,” she said. “St. John’s did a great job clearing paths to walk and drive, but it would have been nice if they cleared out the walkway outside the second floor townhouses.”

With the campus closed for the weekend, planned events were cancelled, the annual Women’s in Sports Day event being one of them. The event was postponed due to concerns of whether or not the guest speaker, gold medal Olympian Kerri Strug, would be able to make the trip back home. A make-up date has yet to be determined.

Junior Vince Ruffino said he was comfortable, albeit a little inconvenienced, during the storm.

“There were some times it came down hard during the night,” Ruffino said. “The next day was a pain though. You couldn’t really go anywhere.”

Ruffino’s main concern, he said, was back home in Connecticut, where his parents and sisters would get more than three feet of snow.

“I’m my father’s only son,” he said. “So I was concerned with who was going to help him shovel all that out. I didn’t want my mother or my sisters doing that.”

Ruffino said, to his knowledge, his street at home has still yet to be plowed, leaving his family stuck in their home. He also said, due to the massive amounts of snow, his former high school has yet to reopen following the storm.

According to several weather models, more snow is forecasted for the New York area that could bring anywhere from two-four inches tonight.

Additional reporting by Sarah Yu, Co-Chief Copy Editor

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