Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Snow slows students

Students didn’t receive a very warm welcome back from Winter Break when they returned to campus Sunday in the midst of Chicago’s first major snowfall of the year. The six inches of snow that started falling early Sunday were a stark contrast to last Friday’s high temperature of 61 degrees, and that meant delays for many traveling students.

About 300 O’Hare International Airport flights and at least 15 Chicago Midway Airport flights were canceled, leaving travelers stranded in airports across the country.

“Snow sucks,” said Brandon Kreines, a Weinberg sophomore who didn’t return to campus until Monday morning. “I’m bitter.”

Kreines was planning to fly to Chicago from Cincinnati on Sunday, but Delta Air Lines called and informed him that all flights from his city to Chicago had been canceled. He couldn’t get a flight until early Monday morning — but he still arrived on campus just in time to make his 10 a.m. class.

Jean Medina, a spokeswoman for United Airlines, said the airline started canceling flights early Sunday morning and was waiving fees for passengers who wanted to change their plans.

United and other airlines scrambled to accommodate stranded passengers whose flights had been canceled.

“Because this is what we would call ‘an act of God,’ we do our best to work with hotels for our passengers,” said Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American Airlines. “We have a weather policy in place. In our customer service policy, you can get refunds if weather cancels flights.”

Wagner said American canceled 220 flights arriving in and departing from Chicago.

American and United both have hubs in Chicago, so they were most affected, said Northwest Airlines spokesperson Mary Stanik. She said Northwest only canceled 16 flights at O’Hare and 15 at Midway.

Some students had anticipated the weather troubles and rescheduled their flights on their own.

Jocelyn Kelvin, a Communication freshman who flew from New York’s LaGuardia Airport, said she rescheduled her 9 a.m. flight on Sunday to a later time to avoid complications, but her new flight also was delayed. She arrived on campus at about 11 p.m.

“It actually isn’t that bad compared to other people,” Kelvin said. She said her roommate, who was flying in from New Jersey, had planned to return to campus Sunday but couldn’t get a flight until about 6 a.m. Monday morning.

The backed-up flights also caused crowds at the airports, some students said. Cameron Tajvar, a Weinberg freshman who flew in from Omaha, Neb., said he arrived after a delayed flight to long lines in Chicago for the baggage claim and taxi stations.

“There were like four million people (at the baggage claim),” he said. But he added that the delays didn’t affect his schedule because he had no plans for Sunday “besides playing video games.”

Max Rubin, director of facilities management for Evanston, said the city has experienced no major road problems or gas or power outages because of the snow.

“We were ahead of it the whole time,” Rubin said.

But Rubin said Evanston residents should take certain precautions while facing the winter weather. He said drivers should pay attention to special signs designating a “snow route.”

Main roads are designated as snow routes when at least two inches of snow fall, and parking there is banned between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Rubin also warned residents against using stoves for heating.

Expect the chilly weather to continue — although the National Weather Service has predicted no major snowfall for the coming week, frigid temperatures will remain, possibly dipping to a low of 4 degrees tonight.

The Associated Press and The Daily’s Angela Tablac and Andy Nelson contributed to this report.

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Snow slows students