The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Winter: not over yet

2 min read
By KELSEY WINDAS Last February Fredericksburg was hit by over 30 inches of snow.


Last February Fredericksburg was hit by over 30 inches of snow.

Senior Melanie Rossignol was just one of many whose life was put on hold when the ongoing accumulation of snow and ice made it physically impossible for her to go to work.

“My car stayed put while my tires just slipped in circles on the ice,” said Rossignol. “There was no way I was going to make it to work. I really didn’t have any other choice but to call out.”

The store where Rossignol works was closed that day, along with many other local businesses, due to inclement weather.

The storms caused days of impassable streets, power outages and canceled classes.

“We lost at least a week,” said Assistant Professor of English, Ben LaBreche. “We squeezed some things in, but I also had to cut some things.”

LaBreche’s situation was standard for professors at UMW as well as other schools in the state. Class schedules were adjusted and large chunks of syllabi had to be cut in order to accommodate for the cancellations.

“What would be ideal would be to reschedule classes,” said LaBreche. “But it’s just not realistic.”

In a Jan. 26, 2011 Bullet report, associate vice president of facilities services, John Wiltenmuth, described the work he and his staff do when there is a severe weather warning.

Facilities services works in 12 hour shifts to treat campus walk and parking lots before a storm hits to ensure that classes can be held “if [they] can reasonably do so.”

Rossignol is from Connecticut and is no stranger to storms like the one last winter, but she hopes to not repeat her experiences from last winter again this year.

“Snow just creates problems like difficult transportation and activity cancellations,” she said.

Although Fredericksburg has already seen some snow in 2011, at the time of press, temperatures are supposed to rise. This warm retreat is only temporary, however, as forecasts predict another winter storm at the end of the month.

Rossignol has already prepared for the worst this year.

“I already bought a new shovel and put snow tires on my car,” she said. “I don’t want my car to get stuck in the snow again.”