Polar vortex freezes Findlay campus

By: Pulse Staff

Ice cold weather prompted the University of Findlay to make the rare move to close campus for two days this past week. The weather concerned the University of Findlay, faculty and students alike. Northwest Ohio experienced the lowest temperatures it has felt in nearly 20 years, along with the majority of the Midwest-as result of what meteorologist call the Polar Vortex.

While the University of Findlay is prevented from making a decision too far in advance, they hold their students’ and faculty’s safety above all else according to David Emsweller, vice president of Student Affairs. Emsweller is often the liaison between safety decisions and the students.

“We keep a close eye on every weather and safety report,” said Emsweller. “We would never want anyone, especially those driving in, to go outside in life-threatening weather.”

The decision to close main campus and the farms Wednesday came via a UF update from Emsweller Tuesday afternoon. And early Wednesday afternoon, the University decided to extend the closing through Thursday. It is not just Emsweller who makes these decisions on Findlay’s campus.

“There is a team of people across campus who help make decisions during weather emergencies: the physical plant, Student Affairs, various administration members, and the Safety and Security team,” said Emsweller.

The University suggested staying inside as much as possible, refraining from driving unless necessary, and bundling up covering the face, hands, and feet especially. He notes that students will still have access to the dining hall and security during a closure.

Before the closure was confirmed, many students expressed concern over a UF update released at the beginning of the week that provided information on avoiding and treating hypothermia and frostbite. Pre-veterinary student Jordan Conley voiced what many students were feeling on her Facebook page Monday night.

“University of Findlay, if you have to send out warnings to students on how to prevent and treat frostbite and hypothermia,” said Conley. “Don’t you think that classes should be cancelled to prevent any unnecessary injuries of students due to the extreme cold?”

Her post was shared 16 times and was liked nearly 50 times. She also stated concerns for those students who work outside or the international students unaccustomed to dealing with such extreme weather.

The National Weather Service released official alerts for counties in Northwest Ohio regarding “Wind Chill Warning.” They provide the what, where, when, and additional details.

They stated that Findlay will most likely see record low temperatures as “Arctic air surges into the region…Low temperatures Wednesday and Thursday morning will be the lowest the region has felt since February 2015 and could break daily records by several degrees.”

The NWS did not shy away from the possible magnitude of this wind chill.

“This will cause life threatening cold conditions…The dangerously low wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.”

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