It’s hurricane season in the Southeast region of the United States and several North Carolina and South Carolina HBCU’s are taking the extra steps to keep students safe. Meteorologist are forecasting that Hurricane Florence will be the most intense storm to hit the region since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Hugo was a hurricane that swept into the United States from Cape Verdia that hit category 5 status, with winds of 160 miles per hour. Hugo cost the region over 9 billion dollars in damages and claimed 61 lives. If the past is any indication, Florence will be a major problem once it touches down.
“This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast, and that’s saying a lot given the impacts we’ve seen from hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew,” wrote the meteorologist on duty for the National Weather Service office serving Wilmington, N.C. “I can’t emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm.”
Several HBCU’s have already made preparations to cancel classes and sporting events in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Check out the updates below!
North Carolina A&T
NCAT made swift preparations in the wake of this category 4 hurricane. An article on the school website confirms that the Hurricane is set to touch down in the Carolinas on Thursday. Starting today at noon classes and most activities for the Aggies will be cancelled, with the loan exception of the Fall Career Fair that scheduled from 9 AM to 3 PM. School officials say that normal campus operations will resume on Sunday, September 16th and the class schedule will return to normal Monday, September 17th. Facilities such as the Dining Hall (Cafe) and Residence Halls (Dorms) will be open as scheduled depending on the impending status of the storm.
NCAT Police Chief Charles Wilson states, “As we prepare for the possibility of high winds and heavy rains later this week, we ask all students, as well as university employees, to monitor campus e-mail, the university website and our campus emergency alert system to ensure they have the latest information from the university.”
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State issued a statement on yesterday stating that the campus will be operating in Condition 2 protocol in preparation for the Hurricane. Operations on campus will be cancelled from Wednesday, September 12th through Sunday, September 16th.
A statement on the Fayetteville State website reads:
“Residential Students: Residence halls will close on Wednesday, September 12th at 4 pm. Residential students who elect to remain on campus will be consolidated into one shelter. The designated shelter for residential students will be the Rudolph Jones Student Center. The shelter will be opened from September 12-16, 2018. The Office or Residential Life will notify residential students regarding other shelter details.”
University officials at Bennett yesterday afternoon issued a statement on the school website cancelling classes for the remainder of the week starting today, September 12th. Residence Halls (Dorms) will remain open for students who can’t travel home and students must notify Resident Directors if leaving campus for safety purposes. Faculty and staff will operate as normal on Thursday, September 13th but can take a personal day or annual leave if they don’t feel as if it’s safe to come to campus.
Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City cancelled classes yesterday at noon and all on-campus activities up until Sunday, September 16th have been cancelled. Residence Halls (Dorms) will be closing on Wednesday, September 12th at 5 PM. If students are unable to leave the residence halls, they will report to the Vaughn Center at 5 PM today. Elizabeth City State University, Winston Salem State University and the City of Rocky Mount have also announced that all events for the 21st Down East Football Viking Classic scheduled for September 12 – 15 have been canceled.
“Our priority is focusing our attention on the safety and welfare of the student-athletes, support groups and those that worked hard to bring forth this terrific event. We look forward to returning The Down East Viking Football Classic to Rocky Mount in 2019”, said ECSU’s Director of Athletics, George L. Bright.
The game may be rescheduled at a later time in Elizabeth City. All Tickets purchased for the game can be returned where purchased for a refund.
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University, as reported by the Winston-Salem Journal, will be cancelling classes for the remainder of the week in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Along with the East Football Viking Classic being cancelled, the volleyball game vs. Fayetteville State has been rescheduled for October 11th and WSSU will not be attending the track meet at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
More updates will come once information is given!