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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Campus

UH extends campus closure, class cancellations


Update 6:15 p.m. Wednesday: Class cancellations and campus closure will run through Saturday, with UH opting to extend the emergency measures as much of the Houston region continues to battle power and water outages.

Many residential students had to be relocated on Tuesday and Wednesday after water outages in the city impacted the UH Central Plant’s ability to provide heat and hot water to campus.

12:10 p.m. Tuesday: UH extended its campus closure and class cancellations through Thursday, it announced Tuesday afternoon, due to the ongoing power and operational outages caused by the unprecedented winter storm that has hit Texas over the past three days.

Much of campus, including residence halls and the Cougar Woods Dining Commons, was hit with power and water outages. As of 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, at least 4.2 million customers in Texas are still without power after the storm caused widespread power grid failures across the state.

AccessUH and Blackboard, which were offline after the UH website went down on Monday, have since been restored.

Original: Classes are canceled and campus is closed Monday and Tuesday, the University announced Monday morning, as the unprecedented winter storm hitting Texas continues to affect Houston and UH.

Many parts of campus, including residence halls and the Cougar Woods Dining Commons, have been impacted by power outages. Blackouts, which began late Sunday night and early Monday morning, have become widespread after the Electric Reliability Council of Texas declared an emergency and triggered rolling outages across the state.

“University of Houston is experiencing much of the same winter storm related issues the rest of the region is experiencing, including the rolling blackouts that Centerpoint is conducting throughout the Houston area,” UH said in a statement. “Residence halls do have backup generators that run essential functions including emergency lighting, elevators and alarm systems. Facilities crews are on campus addressing issues that arise.”

With ice and snow covering roads throughout the city, many streets “are certainly not safe for passage,” according to the Texas Department of Transportation’s Houston district.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo suggested it may not be safe to drive until later in the week in a Monday morning Twitter post.

“It may look pretty with the snow, but underneath is ice,” she said. “Do not expect improvement in road conditions anytime in the next two or three days.”

UH Information Technology systems have also been impacted by the weather, cutting off access to the University website. Services like AccessUH and Blackboard are also down.

UH originally announced on Friday it would move to remote operations  during the storm.

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