UNCW will not evacuate for Hurricane Irma


Courtesy of TNS

Path of Hurricane Irma through Monday morning.

Casey McAnarney, Editor in Chief

In an email from UNC Wilmington’s Office of University Relations [OUR], it was announced that UNCW decided not to evacuate campus for the incoming Hurricane Irma, after deliberating with “weather authorities.”

OUR stated that an evacuation of UNCW’s campus will not be necessary because officials are “confident that remaining in the Wilmington area is the best option, as conditions will likely be more hazardous in other locations.” What OUR means by this is that the current projected track for Hurricane Irma has the storm going through Florida to the western part of North Carolina and up into Tennessee.

“While it is still too early to determine the exact track of Hurricane Irma and its potential impact for our area,” OUR’s email said, “the consensus among weather authorities is that the current track will not result in hurricane-level conditions for Wilmington.”

Nevertheless, OUR advises that students make decisions based in their own personal interest. This means that each individual student should take into account what options will work best for their current situation and act accordingly. “Your safety is our primary concern, but you know your circumstances better than anyone,” OUR said. “Throughout this weather event, follow the course of action you believe is right for you.”

For students who do decide to leave town or travel through the storm, Stan Harts, Director of Environment Health and Safety [EH&S], recommended in a previous article for The Seahawk that “students know at least two “geographically separate” routes to return to campus after the storm, have a paper map as cellular towers may be down, have a full tank of gas when they return and return during daylight hours.” For more on that story, check out our previous article on Hurricane Irma here.

As for the inclement weather, forecasts show that there will be moderate amounts of wind and rain between Sunday evening and Tuesday. According to OUR’s email, campus officials have coordinated with local and national authorities and have prepared for possible impacts on campus. There will also possible dangers with going to the beach, as rip current hazards are high and parts of Wilmington are prone to flooding.

“Please remain cautious,” OUR’s email said. “Rip current hazards remain high and there remains a possibility of localized flooding. Do not attempt to drive through standing water and do not go into any storm water runoff, which could be contaminated or present other hazards.”

Although campus will not be evacuated at this time, the university has not yet made decisions on whether or not classes will continue as scheduled on Monday. “Until authorities have a better sense of impacts on campus and travel conditions, the university cannot make a decision regarding campus operations and classes on Monday,” OUR said.  OUR will notify students and employees by Sunday if there will be any change in operations.