Severe winter storms swept through Kentucky closing Northern Kentucky University for two days, giving students back-to-back snow days and canceling on-campus events Jan. 27 and 28.
Harold Todd, director of campus safety, explained the decision to close is based more on road conditions than weather reports.
‘It’s about the ability of students, faculty and staff to be able to drive safely to school,’ Todd said. ‘It could be snowing, and roads would be open. When roads become slippery is when we close.’
NKU President James Votruba explained that deciding to close the university is a very serious matter because of the impact of canceling classes. However, he stressed the safety of students, faculty and staff as being the most important factor in deciding to close the university.
NKU had decided to remain closed until 6 p.m. Jan. 28, but reevaluated that decision based on the state of the roadways and cancelled on-campus events and night classes.
Storms hit Northern Kentucky late Monday night, dropping several inches of snow before turning to ice and knocking out power for more than a million people from the Southern Plains to the East Coast. The storm is also responsible for at least 23 deaths.
As of press time, NKU was exempt from the second greatest power outage in Kentucky history with at least 375,000 people without power. Andrew Melnykovych, spokesman for the Kentucky Public Service Commission, told the Associated Press he expects that number to continue to climb.
Gov. Steve Beshear declared a statewide emergency Jan. 27 as the state took a full hit from the storm, which dumped nearly a half-foot of snow in some areas and left half-inch thick ice accumulations. The Associated Press contributed to this report.