Last Monday, New Yorkers were warned of a blizzard that was reported to be one of the worst in the city’s history.
“No less than 18 inches,” claimed news reports on Monday morning and early afternoon.
In response to the impending storm, the entire Northeast made emergency preparations. Roads were shut down after 4 p.m., Mayor de Blasio made public statements calling for New Yorkers to stay in their homes and even declared a citywide state of emergency.
Social media platforms were also stirring with talk of the blizzard. Snapchat featured several photo filters that offered users the ability to overlay the words “Blizzard Warning” and “The Blizzard is Real” onto their photos. On Twitter, the hashtag “snowpocalypse” was trending.
Manhattan College also made preparations for the storm by cancelling classes and closing down campus as of 3 p.m. last Monday.
“We held an emergency response team meeting on Tuesday to decide when to close the campus,” Juan Cerezo, director of public safety, said.
Cerezo said that Provost William Clyde made the ultimate decision to close down campus at 3 p.m.
Only “essential services” remained open, according to the Office of Public Safety’s emails. These included dorm security, physical plant operations and Locke’s Loft dining services.
“[Clyde] ultimately makes that call [to close campus], and he is guided by what the city is doing,” Cerezo said.
However, much to everyone’s surprise, the storm yielded hardly the amount of damage forecasted.
For most of Monday, Manhattan College and its surrounding areas only received a few inches of snow, not 18 as predicted.
No snow fell on Tuesday.
“This is not nearly the amount of snow I’m used to,” George Schlinck said. “When they said ‘crippling blizzard’ I was expecting a couple of feet, and we got maybe five or six inches.”
Schlinck is a sophomore at the college and spent nine years living in Buffalo, N.Y., where he said schools seldom closed because of snow.
“The plowing system was just used to that amount of snow and as soon as the snow hit the ground, they were ready plow the roads.”
Students from colder climates were not the only ones that remained unimpressed by Monday’s storm.
Freshman Teddy Sheehan, a native of Hawaii, said “well it was sort of big, the hype was a lot bigger than the actual snowstorm.”
The blizzard became something of a joke among students, none of whom were upset about missing school, of course.
“I knew I was going to get a day off and I could just relax for a few days,” Schlinck said, who said he prepared for the storm as somewhat of a vacation.
“It feels like a regular weekend,” Sheehan said, “I’m just in my room sleeping and watching Netflix.”
Sophomore Olivia Smith said, “I was kind of excited, I was expecting three feet of snow.”
“I wanted have a snowball fight,” Smith said, “I was waiting for the text from public safety to cancel school.”