Forces Smith to Close, Cancel Classes
sculptures festooned with leafy branches dotted the Smith
campus Tuesday morning, when classes resumed following a
snowstorm that felled tree limbs and power lines throughout
a photo gallery of 'Snowtober' 2011
A snow sculpture sports a shawl of brush on Burton Lawn
following the Oct. 29 snowstorm.
A stroll through the campus' felled branches
tells the story of 'Snowtober 2011.'
Facilities Management received
the first call about a downed tree limb at 4:10 p.m. Saturday,
Oct. 29, just a few hours after big, wet snowflakes began
falling and a few hours before the entire City of Northampton
By Monday morning, power had
been restored on campus and grounds crews were cleaning up
debris from 55 trees that had been damaged during the storm.
No one—students, faculty
or staff—had been injured. As of Tuesday, widespread power
outages remain throughout Northampton and the Pioneer Valley.
After meeting in the dimly lit
conference room at Facilities Management on West Street throughout
the weekend, members of the college’s Emergency Response Team sat down in a warm
room on Halloween Monday.
The lights had come on at about
8:30 a.m. that morning and Internet service would follow
later in the day.
“We are up to 3.2 megawatts of power on campus, which is typical,” said John
Shenette, associate vice president of facilities management, whose staff monitored
the heat levels in the student houses throughout the weekend.
afternoon and Monday morning, Shenette and the Emergency
Dining Services, Information Technology Services, Campus Police, Student Life
and College Relations—coordinated efforts to ensure students were safe, comfortable
“We’re doing lots of tuna,” reported Kathy Zieja, director of dining services,
of the menu staple.
The Emergency Response Team
communicated with students through the emergency notification
system, which sent text messages, voicemail and email to
cell phones, and through Residential Life staff members who
walked through houses.
The messages notified students
about the dining rooms that were open and invited them to
relocate to the Campus Center, which remained open with heat,
power and cots around the clock until Monday morning.
most students stayed in their houses throughout the storm
because many of the houses remained heated and partially
powered by generators.
After a few days without the
ability to access email or the Internet, the news that Smith
was “back online” came across
social media loud and clear Monday at about 2 p.m.
“We all survived #snowtober2011 and now it's back to normal,” one student reported.