This weekend was an especially odd one here at Elon. As students nestled into bed Thursday evening, wrapped up in blankets and sweaters to escape the cold, an ice storm began to encroach.
I woke up Friday morning, dreading having to drag myself out of my comfy bed for an early class, only to see an email from Smith Jackson himself with the headline “University Main Campus Operations Delayed.” Great, my class didn’t start until 11 now and I had another hour with my bed. I hit the snooze button.
An hour later my alarm clocks buzzing again. I check my email once more just for safe measure and sure enough, there it was, the email sweet dreams are made of, “University Main Campus Closed for March 7, 2014.” Hallelujah, no class! Except now it was too late to go back to sleep so I bundled up and decided to head out to a friends house. Upon exiting my building though, having not thought to look out my window while getting ready, I was appalled to see not just an inch or two of snow on the ground as usual snow days went here; but rather, everything was covered in ice. From tree branches to the handle of my car, everything was frozen. No wonder classes were cancelled.
After struggling for quite sometime to defrost my car and get it running again, I finally set off down Haggard in an effort to find warmth as soon as possible. The roads weren’t bad, icy but able to drive on. It was the trees that posed a serious threat. All of them were frozen solid from the roots to the tips of their bare branches. Some were leaning as if someone was holding their tips to the ground. Others were missing branches or had just completely snapped in half. There was one tree in particular though whose downfall marks a moment in history here at Elon.
Falling trees wasn’t the least of our worries though. When I finally arrived at my friends house and tried to flick the switch on, nothing happened. The power was out. We all sat in silence for a moment contemplating what our next steps should be. We had no food, no power and nothing to do. We checked our emails again and as expected there was another Smith Jackson email regarding University operations on this near apocalyptic Friday. Lakeside was open for a continental breakfast and Acorn was open during the afternoon (as usual, that place braves every storm). The email also informed all students that if they had no power and were not able to stay in their dorms over night, they were welcome to sleep at friends, Belk Library or Moseley Center. This was a perfect opportunity for a sleepover at my apartment that still, by the grace of God, had power. We grabbed our board games and a plethora of movies and set out to grab a bite to eat and settle in for the day.
Despite the lack of power and frozen everything, Elon moved fast to remove the debris (including that big ol’ tree in a building) and bring back the power. Elon wasn’t the only thing moving fast though. North Carolina weather patterns were shifting. Before we knew it the day was coming to a close and there was a beautiful sunset in the horizon. We had low expectations for Saturday’s weather but to our surprise we woke up to the sun, a clear blue sky, chirping birds and melted ice. It was a perfect Elon spring day to hang outside with friends and good company.
Within just 24 hours Elon had gone from a Tundra to a warm spring day in the south. North Carolina’s weird weather strikes again. While all is back on track now, Friday March 7, 2014 will go down in history as The Day Elon Stood Still. (At least in my mind anyway).