The Daily Gamecock

Snowfall in, classes out

Recovery slow after crippling snowstorm

Unlike public K-12 schools, there will be no make-up days for USC this semester, and Provost Michael Amiridis said it’s up to individual professors to decide what make-up work students are responsible for.

The news came after USC closed its campus for a second consecutive day Tuesday and delayed class Wednesday.  It’s the first time in six years USC has closed because of wintry weather, according to spokeswoman Margaret Lamb. Most students found out about the closing through, Twitter and Facebook. Carolina Alert, USC’s emergency notification system, did not alert students through the text message system because that system is only used for “current or imminent threat” according to USC’s website.

USC’s Emergency Management Team passed along its information to Ted Moore, head of EMT.  Moore made the recommendation to President Harris Pastides, who subsequently made the decision.

The decision didn’t bother most students, who reveled on the Horseshoe and threw snowballs all over Richland County.

“I was pleasantly relieved,” said Jesse Summer, second-year business student, said about when he found out classes were cancelled Monday. “I’m from Charleston so I don’t see snow. I was glad that I was going to be able to hang out in it rather than being cooped up inside a classroom.”

It posed problems for others.

Because of the severe weather, Gov. Mark Sanford issued a state of emergency for all of South Carolina Monday. 

According to Derrec Becker, public information coordinator for South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the governor enables a state of emergency so he can move resources quickly and mobilize the National Guard. By Tuesday afternoon, 142 S.C. National Guard soldiers had been placed on active duty, according to a SCEMD news release.

“The soldiers are operating recover vehicle teams in support of ongoing traffic response activities and providing transportation support for local first responders,” the release said.

Jerry Hinton, a second-year business student and specialist in the National Guard, had drill this past weekend at the Moncks Corner Armory where he was warned about the upcoming weather.

“My company’s First Sergeant said to be on standby and keep our phones on because we could get a call at any time to come back down to Charleston,” Hinton said.

The snow caused thousands of accidents, closed businesses and left the Midlands in a state of paralysis.

By Tuesday “the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported that officers had responded to a total of 2,610 incidents related to the harsh weather,” according to the agency.
Summer said that while he and his brother were at Barnwell Street, some cars attempted to drive up the hill but could not make it.

“They were burning their tires out,” Summer said. “Most of them made it halfway and then started falling backwards and then tried to go slowly back down.”

Most local businesses closed Monday, but the Food Lion on Harden Street remained open until 4 p.m. Most stores reopened Tuesday.

Ray Gillespie, a Food Lion manager, said a lot of college students went shopping in small groups and bought snack foods, beverages and frozen meals.

“We actually had a lot of people,” Gillespie said. “They were very thankful and very grateful that we were open. We were the last grocery store in the area to close.”

The weather Tuesday showed improvements. Becker said the roads were still wet and there were still some icy patches, but for the most part the main roads and highways were clear across South Carolina.

“The bad thing right now is the temperatures,” Becker said Tuesday. “They’re not going to get above freezing much.” 
On his second day class-free, Summer took a break from the snow.

“I didn’t really partake in too many snow activities,” Summer said. “It’s all kind of hard ice rather than snow now. It’s still cool to have some more break from school.”