By Michael MacDonald
One week ago, Cape Cod and much of the northeastern United States saw one of the more violent storms of 2017, with hurricane strength wind gusts and torrential downpours sweeping up the coast. According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts of up to 93 mph were felt in the early hours of Monday, October 30th, on Cape Cod, the strength of which led to increased tide surges and debris being spread across the peninsula. Along with the violence of this storm came the inevitable issues of electricity across the Cape, with Eversource reporting over 11,500 customers being without power by 2 p.m. on Monday, including Cape Cod Community College (4Cs).
The decision to cancel all college-related activities for the remainder of Monday was made just before 10 a.m. that morning, with a variety of factors involved in the decision.
“There isn’t any one person or party that makes the decision to cancel classes,” said Michael Gross, Director of College Communications at 4Cs, “in this instance the director of facilities and the police chief approached the administration at recommended we move forward with cancellations for Monday, due to the varying levels of power the campus was getting.”
Students attending early classes Monday morning can attest to the fact that power levels were inconsistent at best, with specific concern being directed at the operation of the fire alarms. With the knowledge that the fire alarms would not be functioning properly, the suggestion was made to dismiss the students and faculty from the campus.
“We originally planned on reopening at 4 p.m., but once it became clear that the power situation wasn’t getting any better, we went ahead and closed down for the day” said Gross. Though most power issues came from outside the grounds of the campus, there was damage to some of the trees at the center of campus and around the parking lots. Aside from that, patrons of
4Cs can be assured there was no structural damage and all issues have been resolved by the facilities management services at the college.
The timing of the storm was especially poor for instructors, some of whom were planning on proctoring midterms during the time the college was closed.
“It is harder to make these decisions with the college than it is K-12,” said Gross, “because many of our students and faculty are adults with schedules to keep. They have already set up child care and work shifts and planned their days around attending class at a certain time, and we understand we can’t interfere with that. With things like this, we just have to adapt.”
For future storms and other possible problems, students are encouraged to enroll in RAVE Alerts through the college to receive up to date notice for emergency cancellations and other urgent college news, through text message and email. Also available is the college status hotline, which is always updated in the event of cancellations and postponements, and can be reached at 508-375-4070.