Two hours into the start of classes Tuesday, University of Missouri-Kansas City announced the campus was shutting down due to an ice storm that moved into the metro area early that morning.
Students took to social media to complain that the university had waited too long to make the decision to cancel classes for the day and many of them had already navigated the icy roads to get to campus.
The first classes started on campus at 8 a.m.
The National Weather Service and local meteorologists had put out an ice storm warning for Kansas City and surrounding counties early Tuesday morning as freezing rain and sleet made roadways slick and driving conditions hazardous.
School districts, including Kansas City, Johnson County, Lee’s Summit, Kansas City, Kan., and school districts in the Northland, canceled classes. The KCI airport was reporting several flight cancellations and delays. The Missouri Highway Patrol responded to at least six accidents since 7:30 a.m. No injuries were reported but officials urged motorists to be careful.
UMKC officials said they had been watching the weather and traveling conditions and “noted that the conditions were deteriorating.” So shortly before 10 a.m., the university made the decision to close the campus at 10:30 a.m.
“We had gotten a report yesterday that they were not expecting ice until much later,” said John Martellaro, university spokesman.
Faculty were told to complete classes that were already in session.
Martellaro said the university will continue to monitor the weather and make a decision later about whether classes would resume on Wednesday. It’s not known, he said, how early that determination would be made.
Students, faculty and staff will receive notification through an alert system they have access to by phone text, email or through twitter and Facebook.