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[LIVE] Hurricane Sandy forces cancellation Monday, school may reopen Tuesday

By Alicia Juang

Category I Hurricane Sandy caused a school cancellation Monday. The Sixth Grade trip to Vermont’s Camp Hulbert on Tuesday was also called off over the weekend due to the storm, according to Head of School Rebecca Upham.

The storm has already caused flooding, power outages, and other damage along the Eastern Seaboard as well as in Massachusetts. Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency on Sunday.

702 schools are reported closed Monday, according to WCVB. Additionally, as of 1:26 p.m., NSTAR estimates that approximately 23,047 customers are without power.

The storm has not yet caused any power outages or damage to the school campus, according to Assistant Head of School for Operations Thom Greenlaw. He, Director of Safety Joe Griffin, and Director of Facilities Duncan Pollock are currently on campus “making rounds regularly” and monitoring external cameras. However, he added, the worst of the storm is not expected to hit Cambridge until this afternoon.

While no official announcements have been made yet, Mr. Greenlaw remains optimistic about the chance of school Tuesday.

“I think it’s safe to say that unless there’s significant tree damage or power is out or we have floods, we’re likely to have school tomorrow,” he said, adding that the school is still monitoring local weather and additional updates from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

Ms. Upham adds that an update on a potential school opening Tuesday will be relayed later today.

“We hope to make the call by 8:00 p.m. but it could be later if it’s looking promising but still questionable,” she said.

The school has been monitoring Hurricane Sandy since Friday through MEMA.

“This [cancelation] was easy,” Mr. Greenlaw said. “The governor at about 4:00 p.m. [Sunday] had a news conference where he basically told schools across the state that because of the state of emergency and the track of the storm that we should close. BB&N, along with most other schools, followed [his instructions].”

According to Ms. Upham, school was closed at 5:05 pm, and notifications were all activated by 5:45 p.m.

This cancellation, which constitutes the earliest day off due to weather that she said she can remember, was unusual in the school was linked in to MEMA for information.

“For MEMA to activate during snowstorms would be a bit unusual,” she said. “Typically, they work during regional disasters. I’m not a meteorologist, but this is not your average storm. Who knows what kind of damage Cambridge and Boston will get.”

UPDATE/PHOTO 3:11 p.m.: A tree limb fell on a soccer goalpost at Buckingham Field. Courtesy Thom Greenlaw.

Featured photo (top): The announcement to cancel school was made Sunday afternoon via a banner on the website and a phone call to all families. Courtesy bbns.org.

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