Warm weather causes damage to snow statues


Last week’s unseasonably warm weather did damage to constructed statues on campus and made building very difficult. Even though the forecast includes cold and snow once again, the damage done early on in the process may be irreversible. Time was also lost in statue construction as softer snow meant more dangerous building conditions. – Photo by Jon Jaehnig

The Winter Carnival comes around once each year. With sporting events, the comedy event, and so much more, including the renowned all-nighter, there’s always plenty to do. One of the biggest parts of winter carnival, because it certainly takes plenty of planning and effort, is the giant snow sculpture competition each year.

This winter has dealt plenty of snow, but snow can’t stand up to 40 degree Fahrenheit weather and rain. Lately there has been concern as to what the warmer weather may mean for the statue competition. Winter carnival is quickly approaching and the weather has just turned to snow once again. With just over a week of warm weather, numerous sculptures are showing signs of leaning. There’s only a week and a half until winter carnival kicks off, and some people are concerned the statues won’t be done in time.

Adam Scholl, a third year mechanical engineering technology major, voiced concern saying the melt was a “real shame,” and hopes that the statues would still look nice. Other students have wondered if the statue competition will simply be canceled. The statue competition awaits the word of the Blue Key Honor Society, who is in charge of the winter carnival snow statue competition.

There are many rules and regulations involved with statue building, including the types of equipment, scaffolding, and supports that can be used. These rules dictate the safe limits for scaffolding and for the structure of the statue itself. However, the recent warm weather has caused many of the sculptures to begin to melt, warping the structure. The question is, how difficult will it be for statue builders to morph their statues into shape?

The vice president of the Michigan Tech Pep Band, Sterling Korstad, is highly frustrated with the difficult weather. Last year’s melt just before carnival caused plenty of problems and required plenty of fixing and reforming of the statue. “I’ve seen a couple statues that have fallen down because of the warm weather,” he said when asked what damage the warm weather may be causing. The warmer weather has offset some plans, causing some people to start later than anticipated. Korstad said, “I’ll be putting in some extra-long days” just to get the Pep Band statue complete. The time-frame offset has certainly led to hectic nights in the future for many statue builders as they work to complete their statues in time.

With the warmer weather causing structural damage, the one thing statue builders need is for the forecast to stay snowy.