Snow foils student travel

For Yalies, it was a chilly weekend back to school.

Snow fell all throughout Saturday night as many students set foot on campus for the start of spring classes today. The National Weather Service and several local meteorologists estimated anywhere from 6 inches to a foot of snowfall in the Elm City. Although the snowfall was considerably less than predicted — The Weather Channel said on its Web site Sunday that New Haven had less than an inch of precipitation on Saturday — the weather conditions ruined travel plans for several Yale students.

Elis attempting to return to the Elm City this weekend faced travel delays as snow blanketed the Yale campus.
Charles Francis
Elis attempting to return to the Elm City this weekend faced travel delays as snow blanketed the Yale campus.

It is unclear how many students were affected by the winter weather, but five students interviewed by the News told of flight cancellations and travel delays while they returned to New Haven.

University Registrar Jill Carlton said in an e-mail that Yale will allow students to register late due to weather-related “travel delay.” But the $50 late registration fee will not be waived, she added.

At Bradley International Airport, “a couple” of flights were canceled Saturday night, as soon as the snow began to fall, said Rollin Tebbetts, operations manager for the airport. He added that the airport did well in handling the snow.At Tweed New Haven Regional Airport, no flights were affected by the storm Saturday night, according to a spokesman for US Airways.

Federal Aviation Administration data for the number of Northeast-bound flights cancelled during the Saturday snowstorm is currently unavailable.

Across the Northeast, airline companies tracked the weather and offered travel waivers to exchange flights. But, according to airline companies, because of the later-than-expected arrival of snow in Connecticut and the generally fewer number of flights to arrive on Saturday night, flights were relatively unaffected by the cold conditions.

Still, not everyone lucked out.

Alison Lu ’11, who flew from San Francisco, said she came back to New Haven on a Saturday red-eye flight after her earlier flight was canceled due to the snowy weather.

The snow also created challenging conditions for Yale students who traveled by car. On Interstate 95, only a few daring drivers braved the icy road, which was yet to be fully salted late Saturday afternoon. By Sunday, the roads were slushy with salt.

This is the second time a snowstorm has hindered students’ travel plans in as many months. Last month, New Haven was hit with its first major snowfall of the season, and hundreds of flights were canceled and grounded at local airports as students were leaving for winter recess.

Divya Subrahmanyam contributed reporting.

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