By Molly Igoe
The highly anticipated winter storm Jonas brought a record-breaking amount of snow to the East Coast along with high winds and dangerous road conditions. The snow started early on Friday, Jan. 22 and continued until about Sunday afternoon, with most accumulation occurring on Saturday.
According to the article “Kent County Recovers After Blizzard” in the Kent County News, which was written on Monday, Jan. 25 by Dorian Mitchell and Peter Heck, Chestertown received 16 inches of snow, while the average for the Eastern Shore was 17-18 inches.
According to the same article by Mitchell and Heck, “Choptank Power, in a news release Monday morning, said there were scattered outages in the Chestertown area at the height of the snow on Saturday. Beth Gertsch of Choptank Power said power was restored to all customers by 7:35 p.m Saturday evening. She said winds in some parts of the company’s service area reached 80 miles per hour in force.”
Initially Washington College was scheduled to start classes on Monday. They pushed the starting date to Tuesday after monitering the storm, but following complaints and travel complications they further delayed the opening to Wednesday.
Director of Public Safety Jerry Roderick said that the College started monitoring the storm on Thursday, Jan. 21 and held an emergency meeting with the Emergency Operations Group that evening. By Friday morning, the College knew the storm was coming soon, and all workers left before the snow began.
Roderick said, “It’s always hard to monitor every area of the state, especially during a storm like this. That is why we changed the move in day for students so that everyone could assess their individual situations and make the best decision based on that.”
Snow plows were busy clearing away the snow downtown on Sunday. High Street was closed for a short period of time, and dump trucks brought the snow to the marina parking lot to melt. Likewise, the College had a lot of shoveling and plowing to do before students returned, and Roderick said they were busy at work by Monday morning.
He added, “Any snow like this is a lot to clean. We had crew out working late on Monday so Buildings and Grounds could clean up.”
Although Roderick did commend students for being careful and heeding advice about the storm, there were a few issues with students returning early without permission, being intoxicated and causing disturbances, and attaching sleds to cars to drag people around in. There was also a head-on collision in the parking lot near Harford, which totaled a Public Safety vehicle.
Luckily there were no serious injuries at WC as students and staff followed the advice of school officials and took shelter during the blizzard.