The spring semester got off to a snowy start last weekend with Binghamton accumulating almost a foot of snow, derailing students’ travel plans and leading Binghamton University to open dorms a day early.
The University sent out a B-Line statement to the student body on Thursday announcing dorms would open a day early on Jan. 19 at 8 a.m. Students were instructed to notify Residential Life if they planned on coming back early.
“The main storm is expected to arrive late Saturday afternoon and continue into Sunday, bringing more than a foot of snow to the Binghamton area,” the B-Line statement read. “Students are urged to take this into consideration when determining when to travel to campus and are reminded that classes do not begin until Tuesday.”
While the storm was slightly less intense than forecasters initially predicted, it still delayed Escape buses until Monday and resulted in a ban on tractor-trailers and buses on the New York State Thruway and most interstate highways in central New York. The ban, which started at 3 p.m. on Saturday and ended on Sunday afternoon, impacted travel plans for students who rely on buses to return to campus.
While students driving personal vehicles had the option of driving back to the University during the storm, many chose to accelerate or postpone their travel plans. Kelly Ma, a senior majoring in fine arts, said she decided to drive to Binghamton on Saturday instead of Sunday.
“I initially planned on going back to school on Sunday, but decided Saturday would be better to avoid the storm,” Ma said. “When we reached the Binghamton area, the roads were filled with snow, since the storm had just started. We had to drive really slowly and even then, it was hard to keep the car from skidding.”
Others, like Abby Kress, a sophomore majoring in biology, traveled on Monday. Kress, who lives on campus, said she decided to come back to school after the storm because she was concerned that her parents might hit snow while driving home. By the time Kress arrived on campus on Monday, she said the roads were fairly clear.
“I actually had to wait longer to go back because even with campus opening on Saturday my parents would have been stuck driving straight into the storm on the way back,” Kress said. “They did a good job cleaning off the streets and it was pretty dry.”
Alex Baker, a senior majoring in English, said she waited until Monday to travel back to avoid the snow, but that she would have liked to come back a little earlier to get ready for classes.
“The roads honestly weren’t as bad as I was expecting,” Baker said. “It was windy but that was about it. I would’ve liked to have been back a day early to settle in more but it really isn’t that big of a deal.”