Facilities crews ready to battle blizzard

Classes may be cancelled amid the impending storm but the blizzard is no match for Northeastern’s Facilities crews. As part of a comprehensive snow-removal effort, around 100 workers will be out in full force throughout the storm to shovel, plow, sand, and salt around campus. The division’s fleet of machinery includes trucks with plows, Bobcat utility vehicles, snow blowers, and dozens of good old-fashioned shovels.

“We have a safety-first view here on campus, and we’re being very careful about our decision making to protect the Northeastern community and keep it safe,” said Jack Malone, director of physical plant services for Northeastern Facilities who has been with the university for decades and has seen his fair share of snowstorms hitting the campus.

No two storms are alike, Malone said, but Facilities has fine-tuned its operation over the years to be prepared for all kinds of weather courtesy of Mother Nature. That strategy involves collaborating with government officials at the city and state level, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and other local universities to ensure its snowstorm response is fast and efficient. Facilities’ snow-removal effort will also extend to the university’s other area campuses.

The university is closed and all classes are cancelled Friday and Saturday, as the campus braces for a blizzard that is expected to dump up to 3 feet of snow on the region. Saturday’s athletic and academic events, including all Welcome Day activities will also be canceled and/or rescheduled.

The university community is asked to monitor the emergency website for weather-related updates and information about those essential operations and resources that will remain open and available throughout the storm. Weather-related updates will also be communicated to the campus community through various channels, including email, text message and the university homepage.

All-day parking permit holders are asked to park in the Gainsborough or Columbus parking garages and not in any of the surface parking lots (North, Columbus, Camden) on Friday. This will help the snow-removal process.

Facilities officials emphasized that campus safety is its top priority, and urged the Northeastern students, faculty, and staff to take a common-sense approach to managing the storm.