Hurricane Florence has come ashore on the North Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm with high winds and torrential rains pounding the eastern part of the state. As Florence continues its path inland, Catawba College has decided to close and cancel all day and evening classes on Monday, September 17.
The campus Emergency Response Group met this morning and made the decision to cancel Monday classes due to the anticipated difficulty of Sunday travel for students attempting to return to campus from their homes. The group also noted that the effects of Florence have not yet been realized locally although high winds and heavy rains continue to be forecast for the Salisbury area.
As Catawba finalizes preparations for storm effects expected Saturday and Sunday, most residential students have departed campus. With Friday classes and weekend athletic events already cancelled, the campus is effectively closed, with only some residential students and essential personnel in place. Residential students who remain on campus have access to food service, public safety, and essential personnel. Staff members in Student Affairs, Public Safety, Facilities, and Information Technology will be available through the duration of this weather event.
The personal safety of Catawba’s students, faculty and staff is of upmost concern to college administrators, and members of the campus community are encouraged to use their best judgment to assure their well-being during the storm. Residential students on campus during the storm are encouraged to limit their time outdoors to travel between their residence hall and the Cannon Student Center, where dining facilities are located. If the campus loses power, a daily curfew of 8 p.m. will be in place for residential students who remain in their residence halls.
Frock Athletic Fields and the Catawba Ecological Preserve remain closed until after the effects of Hurricane Florence subside. The parking lot adjacent to Newman Park and Shuford Stadium is also closed. Residential students who remain on campus may move their vehicles to any Faculty/Staff parking areas on campus, including the Chapel Circle (which has the least amount of trees), through 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Catawba’s Emergency Response Group will continue to meet daily through the weekend to closely monitor and assess the impact of Hurricane Florence on the campus. Members of the campus community should anticipate notifications by a CatawbAlert or can monitor the college website at www.catawba.edu and the college’s social media platforms for the latest updates.
Catawba has about 150 students whose families live in the counties of N.C. and S.C. and who are being directly impacted by Hurricane Florence. The campus community is thinking of you and your loved ones and holding you in our hearts and prayers. If you are a student who needs administrative or counseling support in the days ahead, please reach out to your Resident Assistant if you live on campus, or call Catawba’s Public Safety at 704-637-4000 or 704-202-1734 to access on-call staff.