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Leaves were not the only things hitting the ground Halloween weekend. Branches, entire trees and power lines all came toppling down when the snow hit. Mother Nature brought a whole new meaning to the term fall, as green leaves covered in snow could be seen across the Northeast region. As usual, the WPI Administration did not cancel classes, and power, heat and internet services remained undisturbed on campus. Some students living off-campus reported power, internet and heat failure, but the majority of the areas around the WPI campus were fortunate enough to have electricity and hot water.
Just two miles away from WPI lies Assumption College, a small Catholic liberal arts college that contains just over 2,000 undergraduates. For the students of Assumption, last weekend’s storm brought not only problems with electricity and heat, but also led to the cancellation of classes and a suggested evacuation of the entire campus. For those who could, the school advised them to go home, and for those who could not, they had no other option but remain on campus while facilities attempted to restore power, heat and internet to the dorms.
Assumption seems to be on Mother Nature’s hit-list, for the college has had similar problems earlier this year and years prior. Earlier this year, when Hurricane Irene hit Worcester, the school had intermittent internet loss for a week. Going back a bit further to last year, Assumption’s administration cancelled classes for four days. Going back much further, Assumption suffered from a tornado that touched down in 1953, and damaged and destroyed many of the buildings on campus. The school was eventually rebuilt.
Kristen Donahue ‘14, who studies Mathematics and Education at Assumption, reported that Assumption had cancelled classes Monday and Tuesday, and resumed classes on Wednesday. She lives close by, and was lucky enough to return home during the cancellation.
To put the situation simply, Donahue stated that, “The power went out, and we went home.” Although students were allowed to stay on campus, it was hard to get anything done without electricity. One student, Donahue said, had no power at home, but still went home to attempt to get some work done. She had no other option but to do her work by candlelight.
“She was not a happy camper,” added Donahue.
Last Tuesday, Assumption told their students that everything was repaired, and they can come back to campus without any more issues. This turned out to be only partially true.
“When I returned to Assumption on Tuesday night, we were told that there was power and heat in all of our dorms. This was not true. My dorm was fine, but some of friends still did not have power and heat in their dorms. They ended up going back home,” explained Donahue.
She later added that by Wednesday, all of the necessary repairs had been made, and there were no more problems involving electricity, heat and internet.
Although most of the snow has melted with only a few patches remain, the destruction this storm caused can be seen all over Worcester. What made this storm more dangerous than the rest was the fact the snow and ice more readily stuck to the trees since most still had leaves. With this added weight, many tree limbs and trees came crashing to the ground.
Although most students, and even some professors, at any school would love to have a snow day, many would not want one at the expense of going without electricity, internet and hot water.