UB students who were hoping for a snow day on Tuesday were left disappointed after an overnight storm that was expected to drop up to 12 inches of snow only left 7.9 inches as of this morning.
In a UB Alert Monday, officials warned commuters heading to campus to “be cautious, prepare for hazardous road conditions and make all decisions with your personal safety in mind.” They said the university would be open and follow its regular academic and operational schedule but that “officials are monitoring weather conditions and will provide updates as needed.”
Students had mixed experiences with the snow.
Michael Fenner, a junior political science major, says he ran late this morning after having to clear his driveway at his off-campus residence.
“I had to dig my truck out of two feet of snow,” Fenner said. “I live on a corner, so all the snow blowing from the other roads and plows buried my driveway. It took me an hour and a half for me to clear that out and get my truck out.”
Jake Handerhan, a senior environmental studies major, wasn’t deterred by the conditions this morning as he went for a knee-deep run in the fresh powder along the Ellicott Creek Bike Path.
“It was phenomenal running today,” Handerhan said. “I certainly wasn’t running fast but the snow was soft and super fun to run in. It was like running on a beach, only cold.”
Cold weather has captured the national conversation this week as a polar vortex continues to bring inhospitable cold to typically warm-climate U.S. cities such as Houston.
Initial reports from the National Weather Service forecasted that parts of the Buffalo-Niagara region would receive up to a foot and a half of snow. A winter storm warning was issued for Erie County.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo advised drivers across the state to avoid unnecessary travel on Tuesday.
“Travel conditions could become extremely dangerous, and I’ve directed our emergency response personnel to get out ahead of this storm and help our local partners. New Yorkers should pay close attention to local weather forecasts and avoid all unnecessary travel,” Cuomo said in a press release.
The winter storm warning was canceled Tuesday morning after only eight inches of snow fell in Amherst. As of Tuesday evening, no cancellations or incidents were reported on UB Alerts’ webpage.
“Driving this afternoon wasn’t too bad. Traffic was maxing out at 40 mph on Interstate 290 at six this morning, though,” Handerhan said.
As of 7 p.m. Monday, Buffalo had received 59.0 inches of snowfall, making it the second snowiest city in America this year, behind just Worcester, MA. The Queen City typically averages 71.2 inches of annual snowfall by Feb. 15.
Brendan Kelly is the assistant news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org