Tentative reopening set for UNCW; Wilmington updates


Veronica Wernicke

UNCW vehicles blocking the front of campus which is still closed.

Tyler Newman, Assistant News Editor

On Friday, Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli sent an email to UNC Wilmington students via the Office of University Relations regarding the timeline of UNCW’s reopening.

According to Sartarelli, the “tentative timeline” allows for faculty and staff to voluntarily return to campus as early as Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Residence halls may open as early as Saturday, Sept. 29, but are “subject to the status of ongoing repairs.”

Classes may resume as early as Monday, Oct. 1 given that the provided timeline remains intact and accurate.

An amended timeline will be sent to faculty, staff and students if authorities announce that it is still not safe to return to Wilmington later in the coming week.

“We recognize that no reopening timeline will be perfect for all employees or all students, especially in light of the individual hardships people have encountered,” the email read.

“We encourage you, as always, to make the best decision possible for your individual situation, and speak to your managers (employees) and instructors (students) about any of your concerns.”

The email continued on to mention that the campus remains under Condition 3 for employee timekeeping purposes and that a change in status would be sent along with an update for confirmed return dates.

In regards to the impact on the academic schedule that the campus closure will cause, the email addressed that towards the end.

“We are working very hard to determine our closure’s impact on the academic calendar. We understand your anxiety about this, and we are doing our best to develop a plan to share with you as soon as possible.”

The UNCW Facebook page is still available for any updates.

“Thank you again for your support and understanding as we continue to navigate this challenge together,” Sartarelli said as he ended the email.

UNCW Police are currently escorting students to the parking deck to retrieve vehicles until 5 p.m., which is the final window to retrieve personal vehicles today.

Elsewhere in Wilmington, the Cape Fear River continues to rise towards its crest point, which should occur sometime over the weekend.

Interstate 40 and U.S. 421 into Wilmington remained closed, further isolating the city from outside supplies and aid. Routes into the city do exist but are not deemed as reliable or safe according to NCDOT.

Harris Teeter and Lowe’s have confirmed that they have reopened stores in the Wilmington area, including the Harris Teeter on South College Road near UNCW’s campus. Some foods are in limited supply or completely unavailable, however.

Hours may fluctuate over the coming days, so one should call ahead if they are in Wilmington and have planned to visit one of these locations.

Numerous gas stations have been reported as open and supplying fuel, with shorter lines than earlier in the week, according to some local residents on social media.

Cape Fear Community College has announced that they intend to reopen for classes on Oct. 1.

New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Tim Markley said that every school in the county had suffered damage from Florence, but they intend to reopen to students by Oct. 1.

For those returning to Wilmington in the coming week, take heed of posted notices and instructions from authorities. If high water is encountered, turn around, do not attempt to drive through it.

For updated traveler information and road closures throughout North Carolina, please visit the NCDOT’s Traveler Information Management System (TIMS) here.

Check back with The Seahawk for further updates.