By Bronson Peshlakai
Huge waves on Lake Erie spawned by wicked winds rolled into the Cleveland area Monday afternoon. The scene looking like the television images seen only when a hurricane approaches the ocean coast. The wild waves Monday, were only a precursor to when the outer bands of Superstorm Sandy moved into the area Monday night with stronger wind gusts anticipated Tuesday. The National Weather Service indicated that some gusts nearly hit 70 mph Monday evening at the lakefront.
Tri-C officials have a policy in place to determine when it is necessary to close the school and cancel classes. Chief Clayton Harris, vice president of public safety and security, and Blair Bosworth, executive director of plant operations, monitor the weather closely, and make recommendations to Tri-C administrators.
Because of power failure in the area, the Westshore Campus has closed.
According to local news media reports 7 a.m. Tuesday, around 247,000 residents in the Cleveland area were without power. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald said wind gusts are still expected today and that electrical workers are not repairing power lines due to the dangerous wind conditions.
With all the other Tri-C campuses open as usual, students and faculty who reported to school battled downed branches on roads, broken or nonworking traffic lights, heavy winds on the bridges leading downtown, standing water on expressways causing cars to hydroplane. Some students reporting to an 8 a.m. accounting class waited for their professor who never arrived.
There are two levels of closure, according to documents obtained by The Voice. A level 2 closure occurs when “it is determined that it is not advisable for students, faculty and staff to travel to, or be at the college.” Some examples include inclement weather, loss of electrical power, loss of building heat, or a loss of domestic water supply, the document states.
A level 1 closure “occurs when it is determined that the college cannot reasonably deliver its primary service.” There are several statements of what reasonably delivery of service means. Too name a few, students or faculty can expect, or be expected to arrive at the college on time for their scheduled class. Also, faculty and students should be able to reasonably make it to their commitments after classes are finished. And, the college must be able to maintain on-site roadways and parking to enable people to get to their classes.
In case of class cancellations, there are several modes of delivery to students, faculty and staff. A recent option is through the college’s “Tri-C Alert” system. Persons can sign up for this service via his or her’s My Tri-C Space. Tests were run on the alert system last week, and Christine Jindra, spokesperson for the college, said the test went glitch-free. Once signed up, alerts will be sent to mobile phones both in text, and in spoken recording.
Other traditional means to see if classes are canceled are by watching local television stations. WKYC-3, WOIO-19, WEWS-5 and WJW-8 all have comprehensive crawls on its TV screens in the event of school closures. Also, information will be posted on the Tri-C website, and on students and faculty’s My Tri-C Space.