Frozen rain and below-zero temperatures closed Portland State University on Saturday, canceling classes and events as the city was told to stay indoors and wait out the bad weather. Yet Ice Storm 2005 didn’t end up being as monumental as last winter’s storm, which closed the University for the first week of winter term.
The decision to close the university was made around 8:30 a.m. said Cathy Dyck, interim vice president for finance and administration. By that time, frozen rain and temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Fahrenheit had left the city of Portland underneath a thin sheet of ice making transit difficult and unsafe.
"The ice was creating havoc in the city," Dyck said. "When we close the university it is for safety concerns."
Only two events on campus went as scheduled. Dyck said the decisions to go ahead with the two separate events were made independently from the University’s decision to close its doors.
A Portland State Vikings Women’s Basketball game against the Eastern Washington Eagles was delayed about an hour due to the weather, according to their web site. The game eventually got underway, and the Viks went on to lose 77-46.
A White Bird/PSU Production of contemporary British dance company Random Dance at Lincoln Hall also went ahead despite the ice. Robin Mullins of audience services at White Bird Dance said that about 125 people showed up for the evening’s program, not a bad turnout considering the weather.
"The company [Random Dance] were already downtown." Mullins said. "They trudged over to the auditorium and said, ‘let’s do it.’"
Mullins said the reception of this year’s event was much better than White Bird’s event during the snow last year when the city was shut down.
"This year people were really enthusiastic," Mullins said. "It was like they all had cabin fever and they wanted to get out."