Jeremy Marshall Harkness, Jeremy Marshall Harkness

Commencement issue: USC anticipates snow before the fall

As the afternoon started to fade into night around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2014, the Thomas Cooper Library was barren. The doors were locked, the sidewalks all but empty, the steps littered with small pellets — of salt, that is.

USC was hunkering down, and students celebrated a day without classes, awaiting the inches of snow and sleet that forecasters had been promising for days.

Campus and Columbia were all but shut down, ready for the Tuesday afternoon snowstorm that could have been. On Twitter, it was dubbed #snowmess.

If only the snow had come.

The National Weather Service expected 2 to 4 inches of snow and sleet to accumulate in Columbia on Tuesday evening, but as the day went on, the snow’s expected start was pushed back further into the night.

It wasn’t until around 9 p.m. that the flakes began to fall, covering campus in a blanket of snow.

USC made a number of moves to get ready for the snowfall and ice.

Class was canceled for a second day, the Bull Street Garage was shut down and traffic patterns on Greene Street were altered to keep cars off the steep hill on Bull Street. Carolina Dining opted to keep managers and some employees on campus overnight, renting rooms at the Inn at USC and setting up cots in dining facilities, according to Michael Gwiazdowski, operations manager.

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