Operation Clean Sweep: ‘Snow SHU’ Takes Dead Aim at Record Accumulation

Snow Storm January 2011
News Story: January 11, 2011

One or two storms is great winter fun. Three or four amounts to a major nuisance. When it comes down to eight storms in a single season – before the end of January – it can spell disaster. Where do you put a record 50 inches of the white stuff?
Push came to shove this past weekend. Sacred Heart University officials saw public safety concerns growing as snow piled up in driveways and on sidewalks – with more in the forecast. The answer: mobilize the troops in a solution nicknamed Operation Clean Sweep. Paul J. Healy, SHU’s executive director of both Campus Operations, and Emergency Management and Public Safety, enlisted students in the campus residence halls to help clear away the accumulation that surrounded their dorms.

Snow Storm January 2011As many as 1,100 students live in Roncalli Hall, Christian Witness Commons, Scholars Commons, and Park Ridge. “Many students with cars had been unable to move them out of the snow,” Mr. Healy reports, “and snow was taking up loads of parking spots. And, as everyone knows, pulling into lanes of traffic can be really dangerous when you can’t see beyond a mound of snow.”
So, Campus Operations, Public Safety and Residential Life worked closely with students, who were given shovels to help them uncover their cars. Parked vehicles – the affected lots hold hundreds of them – were methodically moved to other lots as they were cleared.
A veteran of the Connecticut State Police, Mr. Healy said this season is the worst since at least 1978 when the entire state was shut down on orders of the Governor. The result of this “snow blitz” is cleared walkways and parking areas with truckloads of snow removed from campus in the process. Winter isn’t over yet, “but this puts us in a much better position for whatever comes next.”