Updated, 3:22 p.m.: updates in bold below
As an approaching blizzard threatens to bring 75 mph winds, frigid temperatures, and up to three feet of heavy wet snow to the Boston area, administrators have announced that the University will close at 5 p.m. on Monday and will remain closed on Tuesday. All normal academic and administrative activities scheduled to take place on the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus have been canceled. Classes on the Medical Campus will end at 4 p.m. today, but the clinic at the School of Dental Medicine scheduled for this evening will be held as scheduled.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency effective immediately and has put a travel ban in effect beginning at midnight for all nonessential personnel, and the city of Boston has imposed a parking ban starting at 6 p.m.
University employees in essential services must report as scheduled. Essential services include, but are not limited to, Boston University Police, Facilities Management & Planning, Dining Services, Mail Services, Student Health Services, Environmental Health & Safety, and the University switchboard.
FitRec will close at 5 p.m. tonight, but the George Sherman Union will remain open until 9 p.m. Libraries will close at 5 p.m., with the exception of Mugar Memorial Library, which will remain open until 7 p.m. All student club-related activities and varsity athletic events are canceled.
Clinics at the School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine have been canceled for Tuesday. For updated information about the Medical Campus, call the weather/emergency hotline at 617-638-6886 or visit the BUMC emergency communications website.
When classes resume, it will be on the regular class schedule. Whether or how canceled classes are to be made up is at the discretion of individual faculty members.
All three residence hall dining halls, at 100 Bay State Rd, Warren Towers, and Claflin Hall, will remain open tonight and tomorrow. A schedule for other local restaurants is available here. Residence Life’s hall/area offices will be staffed during regular business and evening on-call hours.
Late-night BU bus service (the BUS) will end at 9 p.m. this evening. The BUS will not operate Tuesday or Tuesday night. Changes to the BUS schedule will be posted on the BU Shuttle website. Shuttle updates are also available on Twitter at @BUShuttle. The MBTA is expected to maintain regular service on Monday, but will be shut down on Tuesday.
Student Health Services will be open until 6 p.m. on Monday and will be closed on Tuesday. Students in need of health services should call the emergency line at 617-353-3575.
All University parking permit holders and departmental vehicles should park inside one of the following covered/garaged facilities, beginning Monday afternoon:
- 808 Commonwealth Avenue garage
- 575 Commonwealth Avenue garage
- 730 Commonwealth Avenue garage
- Babcock Street garage
Vehicles left in any surface lot during a city-declared snow emergency will be towed at the vehicle owner’s expense. Garage facilities other than those listed above (e.g., the School of Management, Warren Towers, and Agganis garages) will not be staffed during the blizzard, so access to vehicles may be limited.
Students who find themselves at risk during the blizzard should call the BU Police Department at 617-353-2121.
Students are urged to refrain from using candles in the event of a power outage. Residence halls will have a limited supply of flashlights available for students. Those students living off campus should make sure they have smoke detectors and flashlights and batteries for both. BU’s safety website details the University’s fire regulations and fire safety advice. Students living off campus who experience power outages, leaks, or other weather-related problems are urged to contact the owner of their building or their residential management company. See related story for more information.
Because the wind chill will drop temperatures below zero, students are advised to stay indoors. If it is necessary to go outside, do not walk on roadways and stay off the ice on the Charles River.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning in effect from 7 p.m. on Monday to 1 a.m. on Wednesday. The storm will begin late Monday afternoon and continue through Tuesday, with the heaviest snowfall late tonight and Tuesday morning. Winds gusting up to 75 mph will bring whiteout conditions on Tuesday morning and afternoon.
Greater Boston residents and commuters have been advised to get off the roads once the heavy snow starts falling today and to remain at home until the storm subsides. “Travel may become impossible and life-threatening,” according to a National Weather Service forecast discussion reported on the website Weather Underground.
In a statement Sunday night, Governor Baker said, “Unless forecasts change between now and tomorrow evening, people across Massachusetts should presume that roads on Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday, will be very hard, if not impossible, to navigate; that power outages are a distinct possibility; and that most forms of public transportation may not be available.”
BU Today will continue to provide updates as they become available.