Tri-campus community to close due to extreme cold
Mike Dugan | Monday, January 28, 2019
Due to extreme weather conditions, Notre Dame will be closed 7 p.m. Tuesday through 1 p.m. Thursday, according to vice president for public affair and communications Paul Browne. Saint Mary’s will be closed 6 p.m. Tuesday and will resume with normal operating hours on Friday, according to an email from vice president for student affairs, Karen Johnson. Holy Cross will be closed Tuesday at 5 p.m. through Thursday, vice president for finance Monica Markovich said in an email.
Browne said both dining halls and select campus buildings will remain open. At Saint Mary’s, Noble Family Dining Hall and Cyber Cafe will remain open, but Cushwa Leighton Library and Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex will be closed. Blinkie Service will not operate Tuesday through Thursday, and will resume Friday evening, according to the email. Saint Mary’s Campus Safety will also not offer any off-campus pickups.
“We’re going to keep the student dining halls open for extended hours,” Brown said. “LaFortune and the library will be open for 24 hours but the vendors will not be there, so the only place for food will be the dining halls.”
Browne said he worked closely with St. Joseph County regarding road closures and emergency measures.
“I’m part of a small group that is working on these weather-related issues,” Browne said. “We’re having a meeting with county officials this afternoon. But at this point … we don’t anticipate road closure.”
In the event of road closures, measures will be taken to ensure campus is still accessible, he said.
“We would make arrangements with the county to have our power plant people be able to come to campus to operate the power plant and other essential personnel,” Browne said.
According to an article published by the South Bend Tribune on Saturday, temperatures are projected to reach minus 12 Tuesday, hover around minus 6 during the day Wednesday and minus 15 the following night, then rise to minus 4 on Thursday.
Wind chills Wednesday and Thursday may reach 30 below zero, the article said. Skin exposed for longer than 10 minutes may be at risk for frostbite.
Browne said the Notre Dame community should take several precautions to stay safe in the extreme conditions.
“Appreciate the fact that, in these kind of temperatures, you can incur frostbite very quickly,” Brown said. “We‘re putting out a list of reminders on how to dress: layered clothes, gloves, a mask that can cover your face and mouth, hats … even if you were to have a car break down for a few minutes, in these kind of conditions, that can be life-threatening.”
Regarding students that do not have resources to purchase proper winter attire, Browne stated that the University will step in.
“If rectors — or anybody — were to bring this to our attention, we would address it,” Browne said.
Browne also stated that campus security and NDSP will be on regular patrol and will intervene to ensure student safety.
“Our police and fire personnel will still be patrolling — and if they see somebody who’s out and not properly attired or … doing something stupid, then they would intervene for their safety’s sake,” Brown said. “If we see any engagement in any activity that puts [students] at risk, then we’ll intervene. Police are prepared to intervene.”
According to an email from Dennis Brown, assistant vice president for news and media relations, this is the 11th time in Notre Dame’s history that the University closed due to severe weather.
The last time Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s closed was Jan. 27-28, 2014.