Severe Weather

Weather Delays & Closures

Green River is reminding its campus community about how a winter closure is decided, when those decisions are typically made, and the communication channels that are used to relay information.

Assume that GRC is open with classes and activities running on normal schedules if there is no notice of delay or cancellation on the College’s website. Depending on the situation, the College will be placed into one of the following operating conditions:

Delayed Start: Classes are delayed, but college operations will continue, and the College will be open for business at a set time.

  • In a delayed start, any class that is scheduled to start before the campus is open is cancelled. For example, with a 10 a.m. delayed start, any class that starts prior to 10 a.m. is cancelled for the day.
  • Delayed start also provides essential staff an opportunity to clear campus roads and sidewalks before the College officially opens. Early arrivals on campus may delay that process as critical needs are being addressed.

Early Release: Conditions develop that require classes, activities, and non-essential college operations to be canceled early. In an early closure, class is permitted to go until the early closing time.

Suspended Operations: All GRC locations are closed to students and all non-essential personnel. All in-person and virtual classes and activities are canceled, all in-person and virtual support services are closed.


When GRC locations are closed, buildings are locked and secured, and only essential staff remain on campus for critical service delivery. Employees will not experience any loss in pay due to a delayed start or early closure. Additional cars in parking lots add time for crews to plow snow.

How to find out about closures

GRC uses multiple ways to communicate with students and employees through Green River Safety Alerts:

  • Text messages – Sign Up for  and keep informed of campus emergencies, safety issues and inclement weather emergency closures. Make sure your number is registered and/or up-to-date to receive emergency communications. Subscriptions require renewal each year.
  • Email – All students and employees are registered to receive emergency communications to their Green River email accounts.
  • Website – Weather impacts are posted to the main page, My Green River dashboard and at FlashAlerts.
  • Social media – Green River Safety Alerts are posted to the College's Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Traditional media – During weather events, traditional broadcast and print media rely on FlashAlerts for updated information on closures, and will also share that information.
  • Phone – During a significant weather event, GRC Telecommunications will keep the primary switchboard updated. People can call 253-833-9111 to learn if the campus is open, on a modified schedule or closed.

How a decision is made

Safety for students, faculty and staff is the top concern in decisions to close campus. The primary factor will be road conditions, which is based on information from Green River Campus Safety and Facilities crews, who begin their on-campus evaluation as early as 4 a.m. Other factors include future weather predictions by the National Weather Service and local school district decisions.

When a decision is made

We attempt to announce delays or closures as early as possible. If snow or inclement weather is in the forecast, the GRC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) follows the timeline below when determining whether to cancel or delay school. GRC will typically not announce a closure or delay the night before, but it will if there is consensus on forecasts and road conditions. This allows GRC and city crews an opportunity to clear roads, parking lots and sidewalks during the night. Our Facilities and Campus Safety begins to evaluate conditions starting at 4 a.m. Here is our process:

  • The EOC starts monitoring incoming storms as they are forecasted and begins to evaluate potential impacts 24-48 hours in advance.
  • When necessary, Facilities crews begin snow and ice removal in parking lots and sidewalks around schools.
  • Hourly weather forecasts are assessed to determine whether conditions are improving or deteriorating. Directors of Campus Safety and Facilities provide recommendation to the EOC Manger.
  • When necessary, the EOC will activate at 4:30 a.m., brief Dr. Suzanne Johnson about current conditions, forecasts, and impact on campus classes and activities. The decision to close campus or delay the start of classes and activities will be made by 5 a.m. (if possible), and off campus notifications will begin immediately.
  • We make the best decision possible given the information we have at the time, with student and staff safety in mind.

Traveling to work

Weather can vary widely throughout Green River's service area. The decision to drive to campus is always at the discretion of the driver. For students, communicate as soon as you can with your faculty that you aren’t able to attend class that day and how to make other arrangements. For employees, communicate with your supervisor per HR-26 Remote Work Policy.

Storms often cause traffic delays and increased congestion on the primary roads, especially the ones that surround campus. Traffic delays should be anticipated and drivers should provide additional time to reach campus during winter weather conditions.

If you encounter an icy area that needs attention, please inform  by calling 253-288-3350 or dialing 3350 from any campus phone (for emergencies, always call 911).

Snow days on campus are not a common occurrence, but it helps to be prepared. Dress warmly in layers, use caution, take your time, and be sure to take a moment to enjoy the season and the beautiful scenery on campus! Share your photos of the campus in the snow, or any time of year, by using #GreenRiverCollege and #WeAreGators!

Alcohol & Other Drugs

Click here for information about Narcan (Naloxone HCI) Opioid Overdose Response.

Contact Campus Safety

Emergency: 911

Non-Emergency: From any campus phone, dial 3350. All other phones 253-288-3350.

Safety Requests:

Director of Campus Safety & TransportationDerek Ronnfeldt

Alerts & Notifications

Sign up to receive safety, crime, traffic, training, and weather alerts on our Emergency & Safety Alerts page.

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