Updated Tuesday, Feb. 13, 5:14 p.m.
Posted Tuesday, Feb. 13, 4:26 p.m.
The University has canceled all classes Tuesday starting at 5 p.m. or later “due to inclement weather” hitting the D.C. area, a GW spokesperson said.
Media Relations specialist Adela de la Torre said at 4 p.m. the school’s academic operations are indefinitely canceled for Tuesday evening because of the wintry weather. All employees, however, are still required to remain at work for the remainder of the day.
She added that there have been no decisions made about the school’s closure or class cancellations for Wednesday. That determination will not come until about 5 a.m. Wednesday.
The School of Medicine and Health Sciences, which operates under a different schedule from the other Foggy Bottom schools, also has classes starting at 5 p.m. or later canceled. The Loudoun County, Va., campus canceled classes starting at 3 p.m. or later, according to a recorded information line.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Washington and surrounding areas in Northern Virginia and Maryland early Tuesday morning. It is in effect until 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Rain has turned into sleet as the ground temperatures have fallen below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. One to three inches of snow, and one-fourth to one-half inch of ice are expected in the area, according to the Weather Channel. Winds are reported at about 13 miles per hour, with gusts up to 25 miles per hour.
Administrators took into account that the federal government and local schools were shut down mid-afternoon, said Media Relations Director Tracy Schario. She said Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Lehman make the decision to cancel classes or shut down the University. Both top administrators were not immediately available for comment.
“They look at a variety of factors … At the top of that list, you evaluate the factors unique to your campus,” Schario said at about 5 p.m. “GW has a reputation of trying to make sure we’re open and operating under a normal schedule, as long as we’re not putting individuals in harms way.”
Schario added that there are several campus events – including a speech by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) – still on track for tonight. “Life goes on,” she quipped.
The meteorological news service also reported D.C. airport delays are at about a half-hour, as of late afternoon Tuesday, according to the Weather Channel. Travel across the country has been hampered throughout the day due to the winter storm system on the Eastern Seaboard.
“A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected,” according to the advisory on the Weather Channel’s Web site. “Strong winds are also possible – especially on Wednesday. This will make travel very hazardous.”
Stay with www.gwhatchet.com for further updates.