FMU Sees Snowfall


Photo by: Andrew Brain

FMU experienced 4 inches of snow as a result of Winter Storm Jasper.

Due to fresh snowfall and the icy conditions of the roads surrounding Florence, classes and extra-curricular activities were canceled for Friday, Jan. 21 at FMU.   

Despite previous predictions of snow that never came the week prior, nature prevailed and let loose a blanket of snow over Florence, in turn, covering the campus as well.   

Some were concerned the storm would cause a cancellation of classes for Monday, Jan. 24, but after the snow melted, Friday and Saturday activities were the only ones affected. The university declared only essential operations were allowed for students during the storm. These included Erwin Dining Hall, which served brunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the laundry rooms located next to the dining hall and within the Heyward Community Center.  

According to the National Weather Service website, the last snowfall in Florence was 2.5 inches in January 2018. Peak snowfall for Florence was 17 inches in February 1973. While nowhere near 17 inches, the Saturday snowfall, dubbed “Winter Storm Jasper” brought 4 inches of snow early in the morning. The university has seen a few snowstorms since its opening in 1970, including the blizzard in 1973 with other peaks at 11 inches in 1979, 9.9 inches in 1988 and 7 inches in 2000.  

With temperatures dipping into the twenties, students waited all day Friday to see the forecasted snow. Most of the morning was met with rain and slush; however, around 11 p.m. on Friday, the campus received its first blanket of snow. Despite the majority of on-campus residents staying inside, some came outside to see the uncommon occurrence.  

“People were very excited about the snow,” said Devan Campbell, freshman history and political science major. “I saw people heading out of their dorms at midnight, running around and having fun in the snow. It was pretty awesome. What I’ve heard from locals is that they usually don’t get snow around here, so it was pretty cool to see.”  

Some of the students who went outdoors participated in group activities with one another.   

“I saw people playing games out in the snow, like throwing snowballs and getting eliminated when you get hit,” Campbell said. “They made fun out of it. Being in a sense of a COVID situation right now, it was very cool to see these people head outside and have fun and make the best out of the situation that they had. Obviously, still with COVID problems on our campus, it’s put a limit on things to have fun within college, and I think the snow was a big uplifting thing for our moods.”  

According to Campbell, the enjoyment from the students on campus extended far beyond when the snow first fell.   

“I went up around 12:45 in the morning, and I remember lying in my dorm room,” Campell said. “I stay in Belle Isle, which is right by the apartments and the way to the UC, which is where all the action was happening. I remember hearing people screaming up until 2 in the morning,”  

For Campbell, a night in the snow was a reprieve he did not realize he needed. He felt many other students might have needed it as well.  

“I think this snow brought a change in our attitudes,” Campbell said. “It gave us a day off from school, and a lot of people like me – an honors student – worked hard to get ahead a little bit and maybe this is a sigh of relief. Last semester was difficult, and we jumped in right after Christmas, and it was warmer than usual here during Christmas. I remember people outside singing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside.’ It was a very euphoric moment.”