Eau Claire (WQOW) - The storm was so fierce, it forced a rare move. Gov. Doyle ordered state employees to stay home Wednesday unless their job related to public health, safety or emergency response.
That meant, for the first time in many years, UW-Eau Claire canceled classes because of the weather. Since it was a snow day for students, many were out making the most of it.
"It is fantastic! I am having a great time," UW-Eau Claire student Kurt Shipe said. "I'm having a just spectacular time."
For the first time in years, students woke to the news that classes had been canceled.
"I alerted my roommates, screaming 'Snow day!', woke them all up so they could turn off their alarms and go back to sleep," Kari Bloomquist said. "Usually the university never lets us off, ever, so this is awesome. But now living off campus, we have to shovel."
And there was plenty to shovel. After nearly a foot of snow fell overnight, students spent the morning uncovering sidewalks and their cars.
"My roommate shoveled last night so we have about half the amount to do today, which is good," Hannah Willett said.
The library may be closed, but that doesn't mean students have a day off from the books.
"I'm glad I don't have classes," Carly Meyer said, "because it gives me the rest of the day to do this instead of an hour here and hour there."
With finals just one week away, others spent the day indoors and out of the cold.
"I've got homework to probably book me till 6:00 p.m. tonight," Meyer said.
Whether shoveling, studying or enjoying the snow, students had one thing to say: "Thank you, Chancellor!," as Bloomquist said.
They can thank the chancellor and the governor, who again, called for the state government to be shut down Wednesday. Two UW campuses, Superior and Milwaukee, were allowed to remain open despite that order because the weather there wasn't as bad.