With Facebook and Twitter updates every five minutes, Harper students were anxious to find whether the blizzard of 2011 would cancel their classes on Wednesday, Feb. 2, and Thursday, Feb. 3. Luckily for Harper students, the horrendous weather created a double snow day that will go down in history.
The blizzard conditions affected several large cities including Boston, Detroit, Des Monies, Kansas City, Milwaukee, New York, Oklahoma City, Springfield, St. Louis, and Tulsa. The blizzard also hit both Mexico and Canada with the frigid temperatures, snow, and ice.
In Chicago, the storm reached blizzard conditions around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 31, with winds exceeding 35 miles-per-hour and whiteout conditions were reported. Chicago Public Schools were cancelled for the following day, Feb. 1, which has not happened since the Blizzard of 1999. Over 39,000 workers were also ordered not to come into work due to the weather. This also included mail services to be stopped and Amtrak through Illinois to be cancelled.
Chicago’s Blizzard of 2011 official snowfall as recorded at O’Hare Airport was 20.2 inches, making it the third largest snowfall in Chicago’s history according to The Examiner.
Records indicate that the blizzard hit Palatine hard, as well as areas near Harper College, as records show 18.5 – 20.5 inches around the campus area. After investigating students at Harper, nearly 50 percent had to spend the day digging or shoveling their way out of their homes.
“So, the day went down in history for us students because we had two snow days. However, the majority of my first snow day I was plowing out my drive way. What a waste of a snow day,” said Steve in Building A.
Even President Ender was plowing his way out of his home. Much of his day was spent with his snow blower digging his families drive way out.
“I spent the majority of Wednesday morning with my snow blower. After digging my way out I made my way to Harper to see the damage and progress. After I came home my wife and I had a fire and relaxed,” said Dr. Ender.
Those who were flying or trying to travel that week were asked to stay home and wait for updates.
“The blizzard also has prompted airlines to stop flying in and out of Midway International Airport, while more than 1,300 flights have been canceled at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport,” according to Karen Pride with the City of Chicago‘s Department of Aviation.
Although there were no students that The Harbinger could find that were flying during the week, there were professors and teachers that do travel. For those who said they were traveling, many of the reports given back were all the same; “re-scheduling” was the first word out of their mouths.
Meteorologist from National Weather Center, Bill Wilson, stated, “The road conditions are going to be very, very, very, very bad. The snow will be heavy, so be careful shoveling it. It’ll be kind of a wet snow.”
When telling students this comment from Wilson many students laughed.
“Are you kidding me? I would not even dare try to shovel the amount of snow that was on my driveway. Luckily for many people that live near me, people either have a snow blower or there are services that come to plow it with a truck,” said Karen in the cafeteria in Building A.
As a student who regularly checked Facebook to see Harper student’s status’ about The Blizzard of 2011, the common status was about Harper College being closed and this double snow day going down in history. One status even went to state, “Thank God Harper is closed, I totally didn’t do my homework for my three classes on Wednesday.”
This blizzard was not only difficult for some students, teachers, and faculty; it was convenient to those needing some sleep and time. Multiple students in the Student Activities Center in Building A commented on their need of sleep and time to get homework done before the following week.
Although the convenience was used to their benefit Dr. Ender explained, “This blizzard will go down in Harper’s history and for those who think that having a double snow day at Harper is common, it is not. This blizzard was very unusual.”
- Snowpocalypse now in Chicago (infocult.typepad.com)