Bowdoin experienced a premature taste of winter when a record-breaking snowstorm hit the East Coast Halloween weekend. Beginning Saturday night and continuing through Sunday morning, the storm spread throughout Maine, covering the Midcoast area in five inches of snow.
Despite the storm's unseasonable timing, Facilities Management and the Office of Safety and Security said that they were ready to mitigate the damage.
"This one kind of snuck up on everybody, but we were able to be prepared at a certain level," said Assistant Director of Facilities Operations Jeff Tuttle.
The actual damage the storm caused in Brunswick was minimal.
"A few minor branches came down, and they came to plow at 1 p.m. on Sunday morning, which cleared up most of the debris," said Tuttle. "There wasn't any serious power outage—just a minor blip at Thorne, and we had a generator or two come on."
Pinefest occurred despite the snow, but live performances were canceled.
"I went out and bought a tarp to try to get it to cover the stage," said Jay Tulchin '13, a Pine Street resident and organizer of the party. "But then we decided it would be too cold and wet. We still had the party. Not as big of a party as we would have hoped, but I think people still had fun."
Outside of Brunswick, Maine experienced the greatest damage in York, Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties along the Midcoast. The Portland Press Harold reported on Sunday that a total of 207,000 homes and businesses in the state lost power during the storm. Though Brunswick, Freeport and Portland received two to five inches of snow, North Acton was hit with the most snowfall, at 20 inches.
Other college campuses along the East Coast experienced more dramatic fallout from the storm.
According to Wesleyan's website, the Middletown, Conn., university was without power until late Monday night, forcing the administration to cancel classes on Monday and Tuesday. Similarly, Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, Mass., suffered extensive tree damage and a power outage lasting through Monday. Classes and activities were cancelled until Tuesday morning.
Though Bowdoin avoided most of the storm's effects, the snow complicated the travel plans of some parents.
"My parents had to leave earlier than expected, so we couldn't get brunch on Sunday morning," said Matt Frongillo '13.
Kathryn Brady '14 said, "My parent's had some trouble when the inn they were staying at [in Freeport] lost power."
In spite of these difficulties, Tuttle expressed his confidence in Facilities Management's efficient response.
"We always have the plows repaired right after snow season ends in March. By the time fall rolls around, we are ready to roll," said Tuttle.
"We knew that there was potential for high winds and snowfall, so we did a few extra things," said Tuttle. "We double checked our generators to make sure they were fueled up; we made sure electricians would be available in the event of a power outage; the grounds crew had their plows on and ready to go, and we checked the condition of our trees."
Facilities Management and Security were extra diligent in their preparedness due to the many campus events centered on Parents Weekend and Halloween.
"There were already extra security officers assigned on Saturday due to Parents Weekend and in anticipation of the large registered event at Pine Street Apartments," said Randy Nichols, director of safety and security.
"At 8:30 p.m. [on Saturday night], I made the decision to cease Bowdoin Shuttle operations for the night, due to the hazardous road conditions and reduced visibility," said Nichols, who said his notification email to the student body received no complaints.