In this file photo, the University Center is covered in snow. Housing services sent an email that residence halls are open due to the incoming snow storm. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Lehigh departments prepare for incoming snow storm

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Due to the incoming snow storm this weekend, dorms have reopened today, according to an email sent by Housing Services on Friday morning.

“Due to the impending weekend storm, Housing Services is happy to welcome anyone back to campus based upon your travel needs, effective immediately,” Housing Services said in the email.

Residence halls were originally set to open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. Students part of sororities who live in on-campus residence halls or students signed up for sorority recruitment returned to Lehigh on Jan.14 and Jan.15 to take part in recruitment.

The Office of the Provost sent an email Friday afternoon that classes, as of now, are still scheduled to be held on Monday, which is the first day of the spring semester. Updates will be shared on the university’s website, email and HawkWatch alerts.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for portions of East Central and Northeast Pennsylvania, including Northampton County, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday until 4 p.m. Sunday. Snow accumulations of 5 to 11 inches and ice accumulations of one-tenth of an inch are predicted for the Bethlehem region.

The storm is already impacting weekend air travel, with several major airlines offering waivers for customers to change their flights at select airports in the Midwest and Northeast.

Bob Bruneio, the manager of Transportation Services, said the university is closely monitoring the storm.

“We may adjust our bus schedule to operate on a snow schedule,” Bruneio said in an email. “This provides us the opportunity to allow university resources to properly treat and maintain the roadways and sidewalks.”

The Office of the Provost said in its email that students, faculty and professors should check road conditions and drive safely when returning to the university.

Bruenio said that his team hopes to have any scheduled activities for Saturday completed before “the snow event is predicted to start.”

He said that his department will monitor the weekend Campus Connector service and make adjustments accordingly after evaluating road conditions. Bruneio also emphasized that Facilities Services will be working around the clock and provide updates to the campus community as needed.

Bruneio said that Transportation Services staff are deemed essential university employees, and therefore must report in spite of any potential university closures.

According to Lehigh Dining’s website, Pandini’s will be open on Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. while Rathbone will open on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Meal plans will not be accepted at the dining locations until 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

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