Winter storm shuts down C'ville, University

CAVAlanche cancels classes, causes few power outages


In addition to the University, Charlottesville and Albemarle County operated on shortened schedules last week as a result of the snowstorm.


Though the Charlottesville area received more than 10 inches of snow in last week’s storm, Dominion Power reported only 25 houses reported power outages — comparable to an average day of power outages.


Crews worked to clear the sidewalks and streets around Grounds all day Thursday and into Friday. The main three University libraries operated on a shortened schedule Thursday and Friday, opening from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.


Classes were canceled for two days as a result of the storm that hit late last week. Before last year, the University had not canceled classes for more than one day in a row for several decades.

More than 10 inches of snow blanketed Charlottesville last Wednesday and Thursday. Plow crews and workers were still working to clear the roads and deal with the piled up snow Friday.

The University cancelled classes on Thursday and Friday due to the “CAValanche”.

Lou Hatter, a spokesperson for the Culpepper region of the Virginia Department of Transportation, said crews have been working in 12-hour shifts around the clock to ensure that roads are cleared. Hatter said VDOT wanted to have roads cleared within 48 hours of the storm.

“This was one of the most significant storms in years,” Hatter said, “so VDOT mobilized all of its resources.”

Charlottesville spokesperson Miriam Dickler said the primary streets, those that service emergency vehicles and major bus routes, were kept clear throughout the storm. Secondary streets were to be cleared by the end of the day Friday.

Charlottesville city offices were closed Thursday, but Dickler said there were not any substantial storm damage reports as of Friday.

Albemarle County offices were closed Thursday and opened late Friday morning, a county spokesperson said.

A Dominion Power spokesperson said only about 25 houses in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area were without power during the storm, which is similar to an average day for the power company.

On Grounds, Alderman, Brown and Clemons libraries closed early at 10 p.m. Wednesday and again Thursday nights. Student Health and Counseling and Psychological Services were also closed Thursday and Friday, and the University suspended Safe Ride due to the snow.

In addition to University services being affected, the weather forced professors to change their schedules due to the weather and closing.

Economics Prof. Lee Coppock said the timing of the snowstorm was opportune for his more than 1,000 students in his introductory macroeconomics course, as the cancellations gave them more time to study for their upcoming midterm exam.

“The one downside is that I had to scale back the material for the exam since we did not have class [Thursday],” Coppock said in an email. “For the students, it was probably a welcome break and an opportunity to start studying a little earlier.”

More snow this week could negatively impact his testing schedule, Coppock added.

“If snow comes this week, it would be a logistical disaster for me,” Coppock said. “I would have to reschedule the exam and that means finding classrooms for 1,060 students around Grounds to take the test all at once.”

The University closed school two days in a row last year when Hurricane Sandy came through Virginia, the first time the University had done so in decades.

Published February 16, 2014 in FP test, News

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