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Morning Sun
  • PSU opens — and closes — for snow

  • One wouldn’t know it by looking at the Pittsburg State campus, but Pittsburg State has a new inclement weather policy.

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  • One wouldn’t know it by looking at the Pittsburg State campus, but Pittsburg State has a new inclement weather policy.
    Although the school and the rest of the region received several inches of snow on Thursday and Friday, the school decided that it was still possible to have school on Friday — until an announcement at 2 p.m. closing campus by 3 p.m.
    While Pittsburg State remained open for most of the day, all local school districts closed down for the day. Swirling winds and harsh temperatures all added up to about 4-6 inches of snow throughout the county.
    National Weather Service meteorologist Kelsey Angle said that the county received about 4 inches of snow through 3 p.m. Temperatures are expected to rise into the 40s by the middle of next week and no snow is in the imminent forecast for the area.
    “The roads are snow-covered,” Angle said. “Take it easy and be extra careful if you have to get out. Make sure to have a winter emergency pack in your car.”
    Pittsburg State officials had to get up early in the morning to make their decision. Pittsburg State public relations director Ron Womble said the decision was made to keep classes open around 4 a.m.
    “At 4 or 4:30 a.m., the president had a conversation with our administrative team and folks in the Physical Plant about the situation,” Womble said. “We were just starting to get a little bit of snow accumulation. They were looking at the forecast as well. The decision was made to operate as normal. The biggest thing is we have to keep the parking lots cleared. So far, it’s been working really well.”
    PSU’s new inclement weather policy gives administrators more options for dealing with bad weather. Now the school has three options: Operate as normal, close, or open and delay the start time. That third option also allows the option for closing early, as used on Friday.
    Womble said the snow was not enough to cause the cancellation of school early in the day.
    “It’s about four to five inches of snow and no ice, which works pretty well,” Womble said. “If there’s ice underneath it, it’s treacherous. The decision is based upon the conditions. We’re fortunate we didn’t get the ice they did in Oklahoma.”
    But by about 2 p.m., the conditions were bad enough that PSU officials made the decision to close campus by 3 p.m.
    “There was continual worsening of the conditions as the snow continued to fall,” Womble said. “People have been working all day to keep the sidewalks clear. By 3 p.m., the workers who are here from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. are going home, there aren’t a lot of classes left, and we don’t have many night classes on Friday. They figured why keep people working when they can get home before it gets dark.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.
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