The Latest on Hurricane Sandy: College Reopens on 10/30

UPDATE, 10/30/12, 9 a.m.

To the College Community:

The College will resume normal operations today as Hurricane Sandy winds down. However, please note that because local schools will remain closed today, some offices may not be at full strength. Note, too, that rain and unusually strong winds may continue through the week, so please exercise caution as you move from place to place.

We are fortunate that our campus and most parts of Vermont sustained minimal damage from the storm. That was clearly not the case for much of the northeast, especially the coastal regions, and we encourage students who have family and loved ones in those areas and are concerned about their safety to be in touch with their Commons Deans.

Although here in Middlebury yesterday’s weather did not have the impact it was projected to have, we thank everyone for their cooperation in preparing for what could have been a dangerous situation.

— Timothy Spears
Vice President for Academic Affairs

See below the fold for earlier updates . . .

UPDATE, 10/29/12, 1:37 p.m.

To the College Community:

As we keep track of Hurricane Sandy and prepare for the effects of the storm, the safety of the community is our utmost concern. As a residential college, we must ensure that our students needs are addressed, while keeping in mind the needs of employees. Given the most recent report from the National Weather Service, which indicates dangerously high winds commencing this afternoon, the College will officially close today at 3 p.m. and reopen at 6 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, October 30). Classes will be canceled today, starting at 2:45 p.m. All lectures, events, and large campus meetings as well as all athletic practices and events are likewise canceled from 2:45 p.m. onward. Dining service in Atwater, Proctor, and Ross will be available for students.

Sustained winds of 30 to 36 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph, will create unsafe conditions for all forms of outdoor activity. Students are urged to exercise extreme caution, and venture outdoors only when absolutely necessary. Please make sure windows are closed and doors are securely latched.

Staff managers should review their operations and identify essential functions that must continue regardless of the weather, and the personnel who make them possible. As things currently stand, we expect to provide only essential services until 6 a.m. tomorrow, at which point normal operations will resume. If the effects of the storm (downed trees, etc) make the campus unsafe or impede travel for faculty and staff, we may limit operations tomorrow as well.

We will continue to update the community—via e-mail and Web postings—as this storm situation evolves. In the event of a power outage, we will use the RAVE communication system. Students should make sure that their cell phone information is up to date, and faculty and staff should update their cell and home phone information as necessary (in Banner Web).

Timothy Spears
Vice President for Academic Affairs

UPDATE, 10/29/12, 9:53 a.m.

As of Monday morning, October 29, the main effect on Vermont’s Champlain Valley from Hurricane Sandy is expected to be high winds, particularly between late Monday and early Tuesday. Forecasters now say that, due to the high winds, we can expect power outages in our part of Vermont. Facilities Services and Public Safety are planning for the possibility of these outages, and Facilities will be moving a generator to Proctor Dining Hall; Ross Dining already has a generator in place.

Students, faculty, and staff should know that if the College is affected by a power outage for a prolonged period of time (more than 30 minutes), card access controlled buildings will lock – including the Davis Family Library, the Axinn Center, and the Middlebury Museum of Art. The residence hall card readers will continue to function on battery back-up.

With the strong possibility of a power outage, everyone should check that flashlights, cellphones, and electronics are fully charged and in working order.

Please check the National Weather Service website before undertaking any travel and be aware that winds will be stronger in higher elevations, and rain will be heavier in southern Vermont and southern New England.

It is expected that College operations will proceed as normal. Employees should contact their supervisors if they have a particular concern and we ask supervisors to show flexibility. As always, staff members can use CTO for hours missed from work.

We’ll send out additional updates as more information becomes available.

— Lisa Burchard
Director of Public Safety and
Associate Dean of the College