It was history in the making on Wednesday as UVic was forced to close campus after excessive snowfall plunged the Greater Victoria area into a whiteout.
Snow had been on the ground for a couple of days prior, and some wondered if a snow day was incoming if it continued.
The official UVic Twitter account had a field day on Tuesday, letting anyone who asked know that the campus has only shut down twice due to weather since 1963, and that it would take a little more snow than what was there to shut things down.
But the snow continued to fall throughout the following morning, and Camosun College announced shortly after noon that both its campuses would close at 2:30 p.m. It seemed UVic’s time would soon come.
Sure enough, UVic officially announced campus was closed, effective immediately, at 1:48 p.m. All classes were cancelled, and midterms and other events were to be rescheduled.
With that announcement came a swell of people all leaving campus at the same time. Students and staff alike took to social media to comment on the exodus, with many pointing out the severe traffic, vehicle or otherwise, that clogged Ring Road and the bus loops.
— Olga Gould (@GouldOLF) February 8, 2017
— Katherine Cook (@KatherineRCook) February 8, 2017
— Jay T. Cullen (@JayTCullen) February 8, 2017
— CFGS (@CFGS_UVic) February 9, 2017
It wasn’t all bad, though. Some students had a great time with the unexpected snowfall.
— Dominique (@FlyteWizard) February 9, 2017
So I saw people skiing on campus today #uvic
— Kyle McLellan (@kmclellan) February 9, 2017
According to our very informal reader’s poll, it took the majority of commuters at least an hour to make their way home from campus, with some trips taking as long as two or three.
How long did it take you to get home from #uvic today?
— The Martlet (@TheMartlet) February 9, 2017
. . . though that might be because some folks just gave up and opted to walk home instead.
hope people are escaping #UVic! Huge crowds at loop & no buses in sight; gave up & walked to shelbourne, got a bus: 15min commute=2 hrs home
— finearts uvic (@uvic_finearts) February 8, 2017
In the event of snow or extreme weather, UVic has numerous guidelines in place that you can read about here. Even still, some in the UVic community thought things could’ve been handled better.
Close down #UVIC and thousands try to leave at same time causing major traffic jam & no one gets home early. Not a great emergency plan
— Judith Sayers (@kekinusuqs) February 9, 2017
We’ll have more in the coming days on UVic’s response. But for now, the sun is shining; go out and enjoy it. Edit: Just kidding, it’s raining now.
And remember: this is only the beginning.