By Sylvia Cunningham
UConn Fire Lieutenant Scott McDonald grabbed his shovel and joined his colleague to help finish uncovering a buried hydrant.
This one down, only a couple hundred more to go. Luckily, McDonald had plenty of time left in his workday.
“I’m actually on a 48-hour shift right now,” McDonald said.
The UConn Fire Department had one main mission: to unearth all the fire hydrants on campus. Clearing walkways, however, was a problem that was being tackled by a different department.
After Winter Storm Juno dumped between 1-2 feet on most of Tolland County, snow removal crews on UConn’s Storrs campus had their work cut out for them.
Classes were cancelled on Tuesday during the worst of the blizzard, but the UConn administration opted to open the Storrs campus starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
“There was a lot of snow still on campus when we walked to class this morning at 10,” UConn freshman Ali Ricci said. “There was cars sliding and people sliding.”
Ricci says she understands it was necessary to resume classes at some point, but added: “I think it was kind of over ambitious to try to have class today when there’s clearly a lot of snow still on the roads and still on the sidewalks.”
Walking to class was particularly challenging for Ricci when she realized the path she usually takes along Mirror Lake was not cleared.
“So then I had to walk on the street for a little bit with the cars and stuff, which was kind of dangerous since there wasn’t enough room for even cars and me.”
Students took to the “Buy or Sell UConn Tickets” group on Facebook to voice their grievances about the conditions on campus.
Many posted pictures of barely plowed parking lots and cars surrounded by multiple feet of snow. The UConn Undergraduate Student Government met Wednesday night to address its position on the university’s handling of inclement weather.
More snow is expected in Storrs on Friday.
(Feature photo taken by Charlie Smart/WHUS News)