Weather and safety officials are encouraging residents of Monongalia County and surrounding areas to use caution in the wake of Sandy, a massive storm bringing heavy rains and snow to the area today and Tuesday.
A winter weather advisory and hazardous weather outlook have been issued for Morgantown and surrounding areas until 6 p.m. In higher elevations, an additional 2-4 inches of snow is expected, leading to hazardous travel conditions.
West Virginia University officials are monitoring the situation, but urge students, faculty and staff to monitor local newscasts and University channels, e.g. WVUToday, E-News, MIX, InfoStations and the intranet, for information. Also, in the event of an emergency, the University will send messages via its text alert system; to sign up, go to http://emergency.wvu.edu/alert/.
Emergency management officials suggest being prepared to deal with power outages for up to 72 hours. “Stocking up on non-perishable food, water, batteries, fuel, medications, pet supplies, etc. will allow residents to stay safely at home if they can do so,” said Mike Wolfe, interim director of Mon County Homeland Security.
“Because of the current weather conditions, some WVU students are encountering difficulty getting to class today. WVU faculty members are encouraged to be lenient and reasonable in permitting students who are absent from class because of the weather to make up assignments and/or tests. They should consult with department chairs or Student Affairs if there are any questions,” said Senior Associate Provost Russell Dean.
Faculty are also encouraged to notify their students in the event of an individual class cancellation, he added, and students are urged to email their instructors immediately if it becomes evident they cannot make it in for a final or a class.
The following is a list of events canceled or postponed in anticipation of the impact of Hurricane Sandy:
- The sixth annual Trunk-or-Treat, scheduled for Monday evening at the WVU Coliseum.
- Oct. 29 lecture by Jeff Bach, “The Hermits of the High-Lying, Wide-Stretching Alleghenies: Pennsylvania Dunkers in Preston County, West Virginia in the 1750s.”
- The PRT Cram at Towers scheduled for Tuesday.
- The WVU men’s soccer match against Stony Brook scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday. (No current plans to reschedule.)
- The Farmer’s Market scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday across from the Mountainlair.
- Fight the Flu Clinic scheduled for Oct. 30 in the Vandalia Lounge of the Mountainlair.
- Mountaineer Week food vendors normally stationed outside of the Mountainlair will not be present Oct. 30.
- The Battle of the Buildings event scheduled at Towers today.
- Wednesday’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between WVU and the U.S. Defense Information School.
- Tuesday lecture by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock and videographer/multimedia producer Andrew Breese called “Combat and Conflict: Through the Lens of the Military.”
- Tuesday’s second annual Rush D. Holt Lecture (Rescheduled for Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m., in Ming Hsieh Hall).
- Tuesday’s Student Veterans Speak Out event scheduled for 11 a.m. at Clear Mountain Bank. A new date will be announced.
- The “How to Apply to Law School” event has been rescheduled for Nov. 15 at 6 p.m.
- Gold Rush T-shirt sales in the Mountainlair rescheduled for Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Haunted Hoops, the WVU women’s basketball exhibition game versus Alderson-Broaddus, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday has been moved to Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. Coliseum gates open at 6 p.m. and fans are encouraged to wear their Halloween costume and come trick or treat.
A concert offered by flutist and traditional Native American singer Cody Blackbird as part of Mountaineer Week will still be held Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Gluck Theatre of the Mountainlair.
The Academic Resource Centers in Brooke Tower and the Downtown Library will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. They will reopen at 6 p.m. on Thursday. For more information visit their website at http://retention.wvu.edu/academic_resource_centers or call 304-293-5811.
The WVU Accessibility Van Service for students with temporary and permanent disabilities will suspend services Tuesday. Students may find other transportation to their classes if they are able to do so safely. Faculty and staff should be aware that students with such disabilities who use the Accessibility Van may not have safe transportation to and from class today. If you have any questions, contact the Office of Disability Services at 304-293-6700.
WVU Extension offices in Jefferson, Berkeley, Wyoming, McDowell and Preston Counties are closed as of Tuesday morning. Extension is offering tips on staying safe during winter storms here.
Barring the declaration of a state of emergency or extreme local weather conditions, the University remains open during periods of inclement weather, officials say. Even if the University closes or classes are canceled, residence halls and dining services remain open to serve students.
Students and employees should use good judgment, though, in deciding whether to attend classes or come to work based on the road and weather conditions in their individual locations, said Narvel Weese, WVU’s vice president of administration and finance.
Rarely does the University close entirely; however, there are times when classes may be delayed or canceled. Even then, he noted, many units remain operational such as dining and residence hall services, roads and grounds crews, libraries and others. If power is lost and the PRT is shut down, the University is prepared to run buses as necessary. Units such as these are reminded to review their emergency internal operating procedures.
The current forecast calls for snow and rain until noon when just rain is expected. Rain and snow is again expected Wednesday morning followed by rain for the remainder of the day. The National Weather Service has canceled the high wind warning for the area. The high temperature is projected to be near 40 degrees. Little to no snow accumulation is expected throughout Tuesday and Wednesday.
Approximately 5,000 customers in Monongalia County served by Mon Power were without power Tuesday morning. Most of the outages in the county were to the east of Morgantown.
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