MU announces continued closure of campus, UM System offices

A winter welcome event for new students scheduled for Monday has been postponed.

CORRECTION: The previous update said Tuesday, Jan. 5. It should read Tuesday, Jan. 15. The Maneater regrets this error.

UPDATE: MU officials have announced in an email that the university will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday Jan. 15, at 12:01 a.m. for all regularly scheduled operations. Those traveling on campus are encouraged by officials to use caution as crews continue to work on repairing damage caused by the storm. Some building entrances and sidewalks may be closed in order to prevent injury from snow sliding off of rooftops.

"This storm brought heavy snow, causing damage to nearly a third of Mizzou's trees," Gary Ward, vice chancellor for operations, said in the email. "Fallen branches that impede foot traffic or those that cause a hazard overhead are being removed."

As winter storm Gia continues to swirl through the Midwest, MU officials announced in an email to students and faculty that the campus and UM System offices will remain closed into Monday Jan. 14 as a result of the closure. Only situationally critical employees are required to work.

The closure began Friday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. and was extended that night into Saturday. According to the email, the closure will not affect MU Health Care hospitals and the Veterinary Health Center will remain open for emergency situations.

“This is one of the worst snow storms we’ve experienced,” Gary Ward, vice chancellor for operations, said in the email. “We continue to be in close contact with local and state officials on the road conditions, and our crews continue their work preparing the campus so that we can reopen as soon as possible.”

A winter welcome event for new students scheduled for Monday has also been postponed.

According to a report by The Weather Channel, more than 42,000 households in Missouri had no power as of 5 p.m Sunday. MU’s Twitter account tweeted that the Red Cross had opened an emergency shelter at Broadway Christian Church and invited those without power to take advantage of the warm facilities.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson took to Twitter on Saturday to urge citizens to use caution in the snowy conditions.

“As our dedicated road and emergency crews continue to fight this storm, please stay off the roads,” Parson tweeted. “Lots of work [is] being done in [the] St. Louis area, and the snow isn’t letting up anytime soon.”

On Dec. 4, The Maneater reported that MU hosted a winter safety fair so students would know how to respond in situations just like these. As of Sunday evening, there had been no fatalities in Columbia due to the storm, but according to The Weather Channel at least five people had died in Missouri and Kansas due to crashes on icy roads.

According to a report by the MU News Bureau, a decision regarding Tuesday’s operations will be reached by 8 p.m. Monday. Students and faculty will be notified via text and email and the decision will be posted on official social media channels.

“Our thanks go out to all the workers and volunteers who have been out the past several days — whether they were clearing roads, helping get the power back on or assisting neighbors and friends in need,” Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said in the email. “We can’t express our gratitude enough for the work they have done.”

Edited by Anne Clinkenbeard | aclinkenbeard@themaneater.com

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