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Blizzard reaches South Bend

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, February 2, 2011

As severe winter weather hit the South Bend area Tuesday, neither Notre Dame nor Saint Mary’s had made a decision whether to remain open for Wednesday classes.

As of Tuesday night, the National Weather Service predicted snow accumulation could reach 12 to 18 inches by Wednesday morning, with an additional two to three inches of snow accumulation during the day Wednesday.

University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame usually makes decisions to close offices and cancel classes based on winter weather around 5 a.m.

The University last closed due to winter weather on Dec. 12, 2000, Brown said. Final exams were postponed for one day due to snow.

In a weather advisory e-mail Tuesday night, Brown said students, faculty and staff should stay tuned to hear early Wednesday morning whether the University would remain open.

“If the decision is to close, the information will be communicated via local television and radio stations, as well as on the University home page,” the advisory stated.

Patricia Ann Fleming, Saint Mary’s senior vice president and dean of faculty, sent a similar e-mail to the Saint Mary’s community Tuesday afternoon. Fleming said the College planned to make a decision early Wednesday morning.

“Should classes be canceled and offices closed, dining services will be in full operation, residence hall staff will be available and security staff will be available for emergencies,” the e-mail stated.

Fleming also said if Saint Mary’s campus remained open and students felt conditions were not safe enough to drive to campus, they should e-mail their professors immediately.

South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke declared a “Snow Route Clearance Condition” Tuesday that will remain in effect until 8 a.m. Thursday morning. This condition prohibits parking on streets designated as snow routes.

A Monday media advisory from the City of South Bend said Luecke would likely issue a Snow Emergency on Tuesday or Wednesday, which makes it illegal to drive on all streets throughout the city. As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, no such declaration had been made.