The University and city have been busy cleaning up streets and walkways after Saturday saw the first major snowfall of the year.
The snow, which totaled roughly 8 inches and fell for about 14 hours beginning early Saturday morning, posed few significant problems for the Elm City. To aid the city’s cleaning efforts, which began Saturday morning, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. declared a snow emergency. A parking ban went into effect downtown from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday to allow the Department of Public Works to clear the area.
“We had our plows out, we had a couple of contract crews out as we’ve been doing the last couple of years,” New Haven chief administrator Robert Smuts ’01 said.
Smuts added that the city was prepared to deal with the snowstorm, and said that the storm “wasn’t particularly large.”
Within the University, cleaning crews were also busy clearing paths on campus of snow. When asked about Yale’s response to the snowfall, Deputy Secretary for the University Martha Highsmith said Sunday morning that the University was handling the snowstorm without any problems.
“Everything has been business as usual,” she said.
The University’s emergency management website reported no closings of facilities or services and the Yale Shuttle remained operational on its weekend schedule through Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, students enjoyed the first snowfall of the academic year since last October. The Freshman Class Council sent out an email Saturday afternoon announcing a snowball fight on Old Campus later on Saturday at midnight. According to Issey Norman-Ross ’15, at around 12:20 a.m., about 300 people were spread out on Old Campus.
This weekend marked the first significant experience of snow for some freshmen, including Laura Munoz ’15, who lives in California’s Orange County.
“I didn’t expect the snow to get so mushy,” Munoz said. “Besides last October, I’d only seen snow on TV, and you don’t see any of the cold or the snow flying into your face and hurting.”
At this time last year, the campus saw an 18-inch snowstorm during which the University was similarly able to keep major services up and running. Administrators admitted, however, that they had taken too long to send an alert to students about the status of the University’s cleanup operations.