This post was written by Hatchet Editors Gabrielle Bluestone and Amy D’Onofrio
Even as D.C. took a snow day to clear up piles of ice, snow and slush from this weekend’s blizzard, another storm is expected to bring 10 to 20 inches of snow to the region, throwing yet another wrench into students’ travel plans.
Some students who left before the weekend storm hit now are struggling to get back to D.C. before the snow begins again Wednesday and others are seeing their plans for the long President’s Day weekend jeopardized.
Over the weekend, flights in and out of Reagan, Dulles and BWI and many Amtrak trains were canceled due to the inclement weather conditions. Though some major roadways have been cleared, many streets are still covered by snow and ice, and travel looks even more daunting in the face of the second storm.
Junior Heather Hachenburg was due to fly back to school from a weekend at home in Massachusetts but her Sunday flight was canceled. The flight she booked for the next day kept getting delayed, so she left the airport and went home again.
“I’m zero for two,” Hachenburg said. She has booked a flight for the third time for Thursday and is hoping the snow from the upcoming storm will be cleared in time. Though it’s due to snow in Massachusetts on Wednesday, she said she’s not worried about flying out because “it’s Boston, so they know how to deal with snow a little better.”
Getting back will be a relief, Hachenburg said.
“It’s nice definitely to have a little mini-break unexpectedly but at the same time I do feel like I’m missing out on everyone having snowball fights,” Hachenburg said.
And while most flights made it out today, no announcements have been made from Metro, Amtrak or the city’s airports regarding Tuesday’s storm.
District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle said Sunday that the agency would run plows “until we have the streets in the shape we want them to be in,” and expects to run them all day tomorrow through the storm.
“We ask that people be patient, we’re out there trying to clear every street and we will but it’s still early and we have work left to do,” Lisle said. “We wouldn’t encourage anyone to call 311 yet, give us a chance to get our drivers out there.”
Junior Julie Tiedrich, who is planning to go abroad this semester, came to visit D.C. for the weekend but almost did not make it home because of the snow.
Tiedrich said she changed her train to arrive in D.C. Thursday night instead of Friday, enabling her to visit friends before leaving this month to study abroad in Shanghai, China.
She found out Sunday morning that her train back to New Jersey was canceled, so she booked a late train, but getting to Union Station ended up taking an hour-and-a-half. First, her Metro train was delayed, so at Farragut West station she tried to find a taxi to get her there faster, but there were few cabs on the icy roads.
“I almost ended up back on campus,” she said.
After 20 minutes of searching and turning down ride offers from strangers, Tiedrich found a taxi, but had a bumpy ride.
“It was scary being on the road, you have absolutely no control over the car,” Tiedrich said.
Natasha Whitaker, a junior, is planning on taking a train on Thursday to go home to New Jersey for President’s Day weekend.
“I definitely hope the snow is cleared for Thursday,” Whitaker said, adding that if her train is canceled she’ll try again on Friday. “I don’t see me having another choice.”
Whitaker said she is used to large amounts of snowfall—about a foot-and-a-half fell where she lives — and she said she thought D.C. seemed to be overreacting to the storm.
“In New Jersey it snows a lot more and people don’t freak out,” she said.
Jason Lifton, the executive vice president of the Student Association, said his mother asked if he wanted to come home jokingly to avoid the next storm, but he doesn’t think it’s realistic to try to travel.
“I’m not interested in going anywhere,” he said.
Lifton said he would be surprised if the University had classes on Wednesday if the expected 10 to 20 inches falls, but acknowledged he has no control over the cancellation.
“I don’t foresee it being an easy clean-up,” Lifton said of the expected snow. He said he was impressed with the University’s clearing of sidewalks after this weekend’s blizzard.
Living off campus, Lifton has already had to shovel the sidewalk in front of his townhouse in accordance with D.C. law. He said he got it down to “four inches of ice” and is not looking forward to clearing more snow.