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Storm delays new semester at Old Westbury

SUNY Old Westbury, still struggling with power outages Wednesday afternoon, decided to delay the start of classes even longer — until next Tuesday.

“It’s inconvenient, but it’s unpredictable when a storm hits,” said college spokesman Michael Kinane.

The semester was scheduled to start Monday, and after the storm Old Westbury decided to delay the opening until Wednesday. College officials decided Wednesday afternoon to postpone the opening yet again, until Sept. 6, so students start with a full week of classes.

The college is relying on generators, which provide enough power to operate emergency lighting and keep the labs operational in the science building, for example, but don’t provide enough power for air conditioning, Kinane said. The college is securing more generators, he said, but pushing back the opening one more day, to Thursday, would give students only one day of classes this week, since on Fridays only labs are scheduled.

The other colleges that had delayed the start of classes until Tuesday — Stony Brook University, Suffolk County Community College and Farmingdale State College — reported their openings did occur.

Stony Brook said some students had difficulty getting to campus Wednesday because the Long Island Rail Road’s Port Jefferson branch wasn’t operating. If service doesn’t resume Wednesday, the university plans to operate a shuttle bus between the campus and the Ronkonkoma train station, said spokesman James Montalto.

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