Weather takes toll on Midwest

NW Staff

Leap Day 2012 brought an intense storm that dropped inches of snow across the Upper Peninsula.
According to WLUCTV6, more than 80 U.P. schools were cancelled Wednesday, Feb. 29.

In addition, Northern Michigan University cancelled morning and evening classes, and Bay and Gogebic Community Colleges were closed.

Classes were cancelled early Wednesday. The cancellations were sent out via the campus text alert system, broadcasted in the media and emailed campus-wide. Students can sign up for emergency text alerts by visiting

Many NMU students were shocked to get the alert that there was a snow day.

“I thought a student hacked the system and was pulling my leg,” said Jordan Smeltzer, junior entertainment and sports promotion major.

Easterly winds of up to 25 mph created blowing and drifting snow, especially near Lake Superior. As of press time, eight inches of snow had fallen in Marquette since around 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The forecast calls for moderate amounts of snow throughout the weekend and with spring break starting for NMU students, traveling plans may have to be adjusted.

“There is always concern for students traveling,” said director of Public Safety Mike Bath. “Students should use good judgement. If the weather is bad, they should make other traveling arrangements or delay their leave.”

There are traveling tips on Public Safety’s website, and road conditions can be checked on Michigan state police’s website,

Nationwide, the storm system claimed at least nine lives and caused more than 100 injuries, with tornadoes tearing up parts of southern Illinois, Kansas and Missouri and additional tornado watches were issued in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Arkansas. The storm is pushing into the Mid-Atlantic near the end of the week.