Winter weather wreaks havoc on campus

By Julia DeCook Web Editor

A late winter storm pummeled the Rockies, Plains and Midwest region last week, dumping more than two feet of snow in some places and around 10 inches in Brookings.

With three reported deaths from the storm, Sioux Falls was declared to be in a state of emergency with 35,000 people losing power in the city. Power lines were collapsing due to the ice, and many trees also found their ways into people’s homes.

South Dakota was confirmed to have seen some of the heaviest snow from the storm, with the town of Deadwood taking the biggest hit with a total snowfall accumulation of 30 inches. Highways were closed for hours as roads became extremely dangerous or impassable.

SDSU saw its first snow day in years Thursday, April 11. Many students welcomed the break from classes after having to battle the storm for two days.

Jay Albertson, a senior English major from Pierre, said last Thursday was his first snow day at SDSU. 

“Man, it totally blew,” Albertson said, a senior English major from Pierre. “I still had to go to work and I drove from Volga and my serpentine belt broke.”

The decision to close campus actually began on Tuesday, April 9, according to Executive Assistant to the President Bob Otterson. A meeting was convened with university faculty and staff, including Associate Professor and State Climatologist Dennis Todey, to monitor winter storm Walda and report to University President David Chicoine. 

Ultimately the decision rested with Chicoine. Otterson said Chicoine reviewed both travel conditions on the roads around Brookings and a report from Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Services Dean Kattelmann about campus snow removal before he closed campus Thursday.

“It was a combination of snow and travel conditions,” Otterson said, “understanding that a certain number of faculty and students commute to campus.”

Brookings saw nearly a foot of snow dumped in the storm’s wake. Unfortunately for many Jackrabbits that were looking forward to Spring arriving, the weather will not be in their favor.

“Man, it totally blew,” Albertson said. “I still had to go to work and I drove from Volga and my serpentine belt broke.”

The Sioux Falls and Brookings areas are expected to see more snow and ice this week, since Winter Storm Yogi has been predicted to hit the Rockies and some parts of the upper Midwest.

“I was pretty bummed,” said Sarah Hill, a junior civil engineering major from Spearfish, concerning last week’s storm. “I was ready for summer. But at least if it snowed we got a day off from it.”

Many businesses closed for the safety of their employees and customers, making Brookings a ghost town for a couple of days.

The city’s annual Spring Cleanup was also affected because the storm damaged furniture that was left on the curb — which left curb hunters without any chance of claiming any unwanted furniture that was left undamaged.

“This snowstorm made me feel like I saw my dad cheating on my mom — just betrayed,” said Michael Moges, a junior economics major from Sioux Falls. “The storm made Sioux Falls into Tree Falls.”