A winter storm watch was called into effect yesterday afternoon for much of northern New England, potentially foiling travel plans for students heading for home for winter break.
The storm will bring anything from 6 to 15 inches of snow and sleet to the area, starting mid-afternoon today, according to the national weather service's branch in Boston. Gusty winds are expected to worsen the travel conditions just as Harvard students scramble to depart safely for the holidays.
"I had planned to leave at 7 tomorrow but I switched to today because of the snow tomorrow," said Justin C. Kestler '98. "I'm definitely glad [about that]."
"My flight was scheduled for [today] but then got moved because my airline stopped flying on Tuesdays," said Joshua M. Cohen '98. "I was angry because I was going to miss some classes. But when I found out about the storm, I was psyched because I am going to avoid it. My roommate from Alabama is freaked and really worried."
Transportation to Logan Airport will likely be affected in addition to the flights themselves.
"Hopefully the snowstorm won't affect the shuttle schedule," said Undergraduate Council member William C. Fang '97, who helped organize the council-sponsored shuttle buses to the airport.
Fang said the shuttles running after 4 p.m. tomorrow are more likely to be delayed. The trip to the airport will probably take about a half-hour longer.
"But if the shuttle is late, the planes are delayed as well, and so people aren't worried as much," he said.
"Be careful," warned Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III yesterday. "I assume that most people will have left already [by the time the storm hits], but if the storm is bad and the airport gets closed, that could be a particular problem."
First-years were worried about being stranded, especially because they must leave their dorm rooms by tomorrow.
Upperclass students living in the houses do not have to vacate their rooms, but they may have to negotiate with their superintendents for heat if they decide to stay an extra day.
"It would really screw up my travel plans if they cancel the planes," said Daniel I Tobey '99 "I was concerned because they're going to turn off the key cards [during break]. I asked my proctor what I should do if my flight gets moved but he didn't know."
Dean of Freshmen Elizabeth S. Nathans could not be reached for comment yesterday.
"I heard that some airlines provide hotel rooms if something like this happens," said Tobey. "I kinds hope it happens so I can spend the night for free.