Snow, rain delay travel to Hanover after break

| 12/1/08 3:52am

Inclement weather severely disrupted students' return to campus Sunday, as snow and freezing rain caused a number of accidents along Interstates 95 and 91 and major delays at Boston's Logan International Airport and Manchester Boston Regional Airport, according to local authorities.

The four Student Assembly-sponsored buses returning from New York City were significantly delayed, according to Uthman Olagoke '11, the Assembly member in charge of the New York City bus program. The coaches departed on time from Pennsylvania Station at noon and were scheduled to arrive around 5 p.m., but instead arrived after 8 p.m., Olagoke said.

"I was getting impatient because when you are on the bus for that long, you do tend to get annoyed," he said. "We did play movies during the trip, though."

The buses encountered heavy traffic and several accidents on the highway due to freezing rain in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Police officers were at the accident scenes but did not close any traffic lanes, Olagoke said.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center reported an increase in the number of emergency room patients, due to weather-related traffic accidents.

"We have had a lot of motor vehicle accidents due to vehicles sliding on ice," a spokesperson for DHMC, who was unable to disclose her name, said. "There has been the full range of conditions, but we are not able to provide any more details at this time."

Many students on their way up witnessed wrecks.

"There was a ton of accidents -- about a dozen -- because it was raining everywhere, but it was also the Sunday after Thanksgiving," Athena Aicher '11, who traveled on one of the Assembly buses, said.

Students returning via the Dartmouth Coach and Greyhound also experienced delays, according to passengers who traveled on the bus lines, though company representatives were unavailable for comment.

The weather forced major airports to delay many flights, though few were canceled. Logan Airport listed delays over 45 minutes for most flights on its web site. Manchester Airport reported delays on more than half of its flights, though the average amount of time was not available.

"We did have some delays and cancellations, but it wasn't related to weather in New Hampshire, as there was inclement weather all over the Northeast," Brian O'Neill, deputy director of Manchester Airport, said. "If the aircraft can't leave Philadelphia, for example, then it isn't going to get into Manchester on time, and then the next flight is delayed as well. We encourage anyone who is traveling to check with their airlines if there are any delays."

O'Neill said the airport's snow crews have been working to keep runways clear and the airport open.

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