Snow day for some, hard work for others


Carrie Crotzer

Students battle the snow to move through the residential village. Due to the numerous cancellations in recent weeks, campus workers have clocked less hours.

Carrie Crotzer and Tori Lentz

As snow blanketed the tri-state Monday Feb. 16, many took to the safety of their homes while others battled to clear the snow.

With NKU closed for the day, maintenance workers worked to keep necessary roads and sidewalks on campus clear, with a primary focus on the residential village.

According to Larry Blake, vice president of facilities management, at that time they were working to maintain only those areas and waiting until snow was done falling to do the  massive cleanup.

Crews struggled against the snow Monday as traditional salt is ineffective in below-freezing temperatures.

“Under a certain temperature, like 16 degrees, the salt technically doesn’t work, but we do use CMA [calcium magnesium acetate] so that’s another type besides sodium chloride. It’s similar to the material I believe that they use to de-ice airplanes,”John O’Neil, a turf specialist in the horticulture, roads and grounds department, said.

There were no reported accidents on campus from the snow according to campus police.

“The reason we don’t have accidents is because everyone is pretty much doing what they’re supposed to, staying indoors, staying put,” Officer Dan Fern said. “Our main concern today is safety and if somebody gets stuck, to help them get back safely.”

Blake said the decision to close the university was made based on the level two snow emergency in Campbell County and the nature of the storm.

“The storm was just starting at 5 a.m. … But the projection was that we were going to get snow all day up to 12 inches,” Blake said. “We didn’t want to bring everyone in and then have them turn right back and go home.”

Late Monday afternoon Gov. Steve Beshear declared a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth so that local officials would have access to state resources to help with public safety and recovery efforts.

In the press release from Gov. Beshear’s office he stated, “This storm system is still dumping snow across much of the state and temperatures are forecast to drop further.  Some areas may see accumulation of up to 16 inches, making it one of the worst storms in recent memory. By declaring a state of emergency now for the entire state, we can deploy any needed state assistance, including National Guard troops if necessary, without delay.”

NKU was closed until noon on Tuesday with the school citing inclement weather.