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Winter storm blankets Duke, Durham

Tenters in K-ville are sleeping on snow-covered ground, but as some delayed travelers may be thinking, at least they’re at Duke.

In response to the snow—not quite enough to merit grace for Krzyzewskiville Monday or Tuesday night—the University canceled graduate classes Tuesday. Staff still reported to work Tuesday.

“What’s most important right now is that you take all precautions to be safe and not take any unnecessary risks,” Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta wrote in a Tuesday e-mail to students. “Your safety is your priority!”

Throughout the past few days, Moneta and the DukeAlert system updated the campus community via e-mail and text messages. DukeAlert discontinued its severe weather policy Tuesday at 7 p.m. and all bus routes resumed normal activity Tuesday amid lingering concerns over icy conditions. But several students may still miss the first day of class because of travel delays.

Although both runways remained open, many flights arriving at Raleigh-Durham International Airport were canceled Monday and Tuesday, and hundreds of flights were canceled at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

With temperatures projected to fall into the 20’s Tuesday night, ice on roads may refreeze. As of Tuesday night, classes on Wednesday were on schedule.

In Conyers, Ga., second-year Divinity School student Jonathan Andersen said three to four inches of snow, icy roads and closed interstates prevented him from leaving for Duke Tuesday as he had planned.

“I did get warnings, but I assumed that after a day or two it would be clear, but it stayed around a lot longer than expected,” he said.

Andersen planned to drive back Wednesday morning.

To prevent further travel delays, other students improvised a new kind of transportation mid-trip. Sophomore Alice Rand from Los Angeles was stuck in Charlotte Monday night. Fortunately, her friend, sophomore Elizabeth Tijerina, was in the airport, she said. The two stayed in a hotel overnight.

“We tried [to book a flight] again this morning and it was just terrible, everything was canceled,” Rand said.

Ultimately, the two decided to take a train to Durham—without their luggage, which is somewhere in the Charlotte airport.

Jason Meer, a senior from Maryland, was planning to drive back Tuesday afternoon until he received Moneta’s e-mail and checked the weather reports for the coming hours. He also called friends from Duke before deciding to delay his travels for a day.

“My roommate from North Carolina [said it might be risky], but my friend from Pennsylvania said to come. There was a very regional disparity there,” Meer said.

In the end, only one person’s opinion mattered.

“My mom was worried for me, so she had the final decision there,” Meer said.


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