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Ice storm wreaks havoc on campus

February 24th, 2011

After enjoying a beautiful week of blue skies and heat wave temperatures in the mid-fifties, Cleveland weather has returned to its normal frigid conditions with a vengeance.

On Sunday night, after a mixture of rain and ice fell for several hours, the precipitation froze as temperatures dropped.

This caused a severe buildup of ice on the branches of the trees. Many were not strong enough to support the additional weight, and large branches began breaking.

To address this issue, the maintenance department has been working to clean up the campus and make it easier for students to get around, said Associate Vice President of facilities Carol Dietz.

“We try to be as proactive as we can,” said Dietz. “The guys stay later and come in earlier.”

In order to keep students safe, the maintenance department ropes off the dangerous areas with red caution tape and salts and plows the sidewalks for accessibility for students, faculty and visitors, according to Dietz.

The conditions definitely cast a wintery light on the campus for prospective students visiting JCU on President’s Day, said junior Cory Gotowka. Gotowka is a tour guide and led one of the 55 tours that took place on Monday during JCU’s open house.

“I took a tour with five families, and when we were walking between Millor and Pacelli, a huge tree fell down right in front of us. A couple of the moms gasped,” Gotowka said.

He acknowledged that it was a little bit difficult to get around campus with the ice and snow on the paths, but he does not believe it looked bad to the visiting families. “Most people expected it [the weather] in the area,” he said.

Fortunately, according to the extended forecast on Accuweather.com, there are warmer days to come. And with these warmer temperatures, the maintenance department will be busy tending to the large amounts of melting snow and ice.