Snow storm prompts remote learning across Utah County

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A winter storm warning for heavy snow in Utah County and across the state was issued by the National Weather Service Feb. 22 prompting many schools to delay classes or conduct remote learning, including BYU.

UVU tweeted about the weather delays on their campus early this morning. A follow-up tweet again encouraged students to reach out to their instructors about classes later in the day. (@UVU via Twitter)
BYU campus this morning in a fresh layer of snow. While most classes are canceled, campus remains open. (Photo courtesy of Ryan O’Reilly)

BYU sent out an alert encouraging faculty and supervisors to hold classes and work remotely because “travel to BYU today may be hazardous.” BYU originally issued a warning yesterday, Feb. 21 informing students and staff that the incident management team was monitoring the storm and to be cautious in travel.

Natalie Ipson, communications liaison for BYU’s Incident Management Team, said BYU has an emergency manager and the IMT made up of representatives from all across campus. Ipson said the manager and team work together whenever there is an “incident” to make a recommendation to BYU’s policy group to make a decision.

Ipson said the IMT met on Tuesday and then again early this morning to discuss with the snow removal crew the early-morning conditions on campus, including eight inches of snow. The incident management team recommended to the policy group that classes and work be remote for Feb. 22, Ipson said. The policy group made the final decision and released the announcement by 6:30 a.m. according to Ipson.

Tamie Harding, BYU emergency manager said, “BYU is committed to communicating timely and accurate information as soon as possible. Forecasts can change quickly, and with this storm, both the arrival time and the amount of precipitation fluctuated, so the IMT opted to wait until more reliable data was available.”

BYU student Josh Pitt said his day would not be very different than most other days he is on campus. He said most classes have a remote option besides his dance classes which cannot be done effectively over zoom. 

Provo City School District also announced a remote learning day for all schools within the district. Caleb Price, Provo City School District director of communications, wrote, “All other scheduled activities will be canceled, including practices.” 

Solitude Ski Resort reported receiving 28 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. According to the website, seven out of their eight lifts are currently open for operation. Viewers can watch skiers and conditions live here. Other ski resorts reported similar snowfall according to their websites.

The Utah Department of Transportation tweeted, “Spoiler Alert: the roads are snowy.” The tweet also included a video of the road conditions on I-15 this morning. (@UtahDOT via Twitter)

Pitt said, “I don’t think a snow day like this would have occurred with this amount of snow, several years ago before COVID happened, but because the professors and classes on BYU campus are familiar with running remote class sessions and accommodating people from their homes, situations like these are a lot more doable and a lot smoother.”

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