By Leila Taha, Steven Mendoza and Hannah Kim
COLLEGE PARK – For University of Maryland freshman Lea Shapiro, the region’s first snowfall was a reason for celebration.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Shapiro, 19, adding she planned to go sledding as soon as she finished classes.
Others stopped on the college campus were less impressed.
“I don’t really like the snow; maybe it’s because I’m from the tropics,” said Natalia Eason, 38, an English major originally from Brazil.
The snow, which started falling at 5:41 a.m. at Reagan National Airport, was expected to accumulate up to about 3 inches before turning into mixed precipitation overnight, said National Weather Service meteorologist Christopher Strong.
By midday it had already prompted school closings throughout the region, spawned accidents on area roads — including 15 minor accidents on state highways in Prince George’s County — and caused other inconveniences.
The University of Maryland, in its second day of spring-semester classes, closed at 12:30 p.m.
Prince George’s County schools closed early, as did schools in Charles, Calvert and Howard counties and Baltimore City, to name a few. Montgomery, Frederick and western Maryland school districts, among others, closed for the day.
Not everyone was on top of area closings.
“What do you mean? It’s closing at 12:30?” said University of Maryland senior Andrew Hong, 21, stopped late morning on his way to McKeldin Library. “I thought classes were canceled until 12:30. Wow, there is some mass miscommunication here.”
Eason didn’t know classes had been canceled, either, but she didn’t seem to mind. She said she’d pick up her son from day care early and go home.
Lisa Kreps, 23, said she was disappointed to be missing her first day of classes.
“On the flip side I’m glad I’m not going home at 8:15 (p.m.) when it’s been snowing all day and it’s 10 times worse,” she said.
Kreps, a graduate student of information and library sciences who works at McKeldin Library, said she is originally from Minnesota, which helped her put things in perspective.
“It’s really not much snow,” she said.