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Severe Weather Emergency Declared; Classes Canceled for Monday & Tuesday

Severe Weather Emergency Declared; Classes Canceled for Monday & Tuesday

January 5, 2014

LGL 3444Classes at DePauw University have been canceled for tomorrow Monday, January 6, and Tuesday, January 7, and a Severe Weather Emergency has been declared as a result of the winter storm that is hitting Indiana and much of the Midwest today.

Students who have not yet returned to campus for the opening day of Winter Term are advised to stay where they are, if possible.  Only essential University personnel are expected to report to work during the weather emergency.

As of 1 p.m. Sunday more than 5 inches of snow had fallen in Greencastle, and another 7" or more was expected by nightfall.  Many flights into Indianapolis International Airport have been canceled and a level 1 snow emergency is in effect for Putnam County, which means that travel may be restricted to emergency personnel only. Per local authorities, "Citizens are directed to refrain from all travel, comply with necessary emergency measures, cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing operations plans, and comply with the directions properly identified officers."

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect statewide until 1 a.m. when a Wind Chill Warning will be put into effect, and will continue through 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour later today are expected to cause the snow to drift and create visibility problems. Once the snow ends this evening,LGL 8025 forecasters say temperatures are expected to plunge over the next two days.  The overnight low temperature will fall to 11 below zero and drop to -15 on Monday. Tuesday will see a slight warmup but temperatures will still be dangerously low. At their worst, wind chills will be between 25-below and 45-below zero.

"This is shaping up to be one of the worst winter storms in Indiana history, and safety is our first priority," says Angie Nally, director of public safety at DePauw.  "We advise students who have not yet made it back to campus to wait and make the trip when conditions have improved.  Those en route should endeavor to find a place to stay until the weather emergency has ended.  And we ask the students who are already back on campus to be mindful of conditions and to stay close to their living units.  The snow has made travel extremely treacherous, and the falling temperatures will create dangerous conditions for anyone who goes outside."

All shuttles from Indianapolis International Airport have been canceled as of 1 p.m. Returning students with transportation issues or questions should call the Public Safety office at (765) 658-4261.

Food service will remain available in the Hub, located within LGL 3841the Memorial Student Union Building, until 4 p.m.  Meals will be served this evening in Longden Hall. University crews are working to clear sidewalks, streets and entryways across campus.

"Everyone should be aware that the snow is falling so quickly -- at more than an inch an hour -- that, despite the best efforts of our dedicated staff, getting around is still going to be difficult for the near term," Nally said Sunday afternoon. 

The DePauw website will be updated as new information is available for dissemination.  Those with questions may call (765) 658-4800.