Cars, buses left stuck in snowy conditions

Priscilla D. Tasker

Al Calabrese drove his Hyundai Elantra into College Towers’ parking lot to pick up Tanya Ostapenko only to get stuck in about six inches of snow yesterday morning.

Nine other cars were stuck in the snowy drive and left stranded.

“I’ve never seen snow like this,” said Ostapenko, a resident and physics graduate student.

Snow cover varied from about four inches to ten inches in some parts.

The apartment complex’s parking lot had not been plowed during, nor after Tuesday night’s snow storm.

“It’s been all over the news, the biggest storm in years, you’d think they would’ve prepared,” resident Parul Desai said. “The management is usually good with everything else. This is just something they neglected.”

Desai was searching for a parking space early yesterday morning when her Honda Civic got stuck. After an unsuccessful struggle to push her car out, she called the College Towers emergency answering service.

She was told that the plow used by the apartment complex was broken, but a plowing service had been notified, Desai said.

She called a tow service as well, to see if they would pull her car out, but there were other stranded cars blocking her in.

“There’s really nothing you can do in this weather,” Desai said.

Employees in the College Towers leasing office were unable to comment.

A PARTA bus, dropping someone off at the apartment complex, got stuck at the turn-around at the second building. A service truck was summoned to pull it out of the lot – routine in this weather.

“It was really a minor thing for us,” PARTA operations manager Joe Yensel said. “Our buses run all the time. We’re out even when most people aren’t supposed to be out.”

Throughout the day at College Towers some car owners successfully dug and pushed their vehicles out of the snow, while some newcomers drove their vehicles into ruts previously occupied by others.

Calabrese was the first to successfully push his car out of the snowy trenches with the help of Ostapenko and three other residents.

It was an uphill battle: The car was on a slanted area covered with a sheet of ice beneath the snow. After nearly an hour, Calabrese drove out of the lot.

Junior aeronautics major Wes Newton, one of the residents who assisted Calabrese, gave the other helpers celebratory high-fives before helping senior marketing major Mike Long, another stranded car owner, push his way out.

“When you’re off Kent campus you really don’t get the plows coming through,” Newton said, “There’s not much you can do.”

Contact reporter Priscilla D. Tasker at [email protected].