February 4, 2010
To students, staff and faculty in Charlottesville:
The City and County have declared a local emergency in anticipation of a snow storm due to hit the area at daybreak Friday morning and continue until 10 p.m Saturday.
The winter storm warning includes a prediction of between 20 and 28 inches of snow and winds of 10 to 15 mph. Our regional emergency coordinator reports that the National Weather Service is saying that if the storm is as predicted, then travel on Friday afternoon through the weekend could be "hazardous to nearly impossible."
In making decisions about inclement weather schedules we must weigh many variables, including hospital operations and patient care, the well being of our students who live on Grounds, and the safety and security of our employees as they travel to and from work.
After consulting with the University's Critical Incident Management Team earlier today, including representatives of the Provost's Office, I have made the following decisions:
* Classes scheduled for Friday, Feb. 5, will be cancelled.
* Only essential employees in the Academic Division and the Medical Center are to report to work as scheduled. If you are unsure of your status as essential or non-essential, please talk with your supervisor.
* Employees who will be working tomorrow are encouraged to park in garages that will be open for employees for this weather event. The following garages will be open for employee use: Culbreth Road, Stadium, Emmet/Ivy, Darden, and Central Grounds. Parking and Transportation has lifted restrictions in these locations so that people who do drive to work can park under cover and be out of the way of snow removal operations.
The University will continue to operate in key areas in order to support student life on Grounds. Essential staff in Facilities, Parking and Transportation, Dining, Housing, ITC, and University Police will be arriving early in the morning to keep the University's core services functioning.
Many of our divisions have already begun to implement their inclement weather plans. For instance, Dining Services has ordered additional food for the weekend. Many of our essential employees will be working 12-hour shifts and for their safety and convenience we have made arrangements for them to stay in local hotels so they can be on call through the weekend.
Essential employees who report to work will be given comp time; non-essential employees who do not come into work will receive agency closing leave.
The most up-to-date information about the University's operating schedule as well as event cancellations can be found on the University's home page at www.virginia.edu. Operating schedule information can also be found on the University's information lines at (434) 243-SNOW or 924-SNOW.
This has been an extraordinary winter that has given us more than our share of opportunities to test our inclement weather plans.
In closing, I am grateful for all those emergency personnel who worked through last weekend's snow event and who will be on hand again this weekend. And, as always, I appreciate the contributions all of our employees make to the University's daily operations.
Leonard W. Sandridge
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer