University Closed Monday Due to ‘Severe Weather’ From Irma

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Emory University will shut down Monday as Hurricane Irma projections indicate “severe weather” could hit the Atlanta area with heavy rain, wind, flash flooding and tornadoes, according to a Sept. 10 University-wide email. Updates will be sent out via email as they become available and the University website, Facebook and Twitter page will post all pertinent updates and information.

Emory Healthcare will remain open Monday, Associate Vice President for Media Relations Nancy Seideman told the Wheel Sunday afternoon.

The University will assess Monday whether it will close Tuesday, Seideman said.

The University has adjusted building operating hours and events in face of severe weather from Hurricane Irma. The DUC-ling will open for its normal hours from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Student Activity and Academic Center (SAAC) will open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the Ray’s at Woodruff Residential will open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m, according to a Campus Life Facebook post. The Woodruff P.E. Center (WPEC) will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., but the pools at the WPEC and SAAC will be closed until the University resumes normal operating hours, the post said. Residence halls will remain open and fully staffed. The mail rooms at SAAC and Few Hall will be closed until the University resumes normal operating hours.

The women’s volleyball game scheduled for tomorrow is postponed, according to the Emory Athletics website.

Student Health Services on the Atlanta campus will be closed Monday until the University resumed normal operating hours, according to an email from Campus Life Senior Director for Communications Tomika DePriest.

Emory Clark Holder Clinic, Emory West Point, Emory Southern Center for Orthopedics in Lagrange and Emory ASC at Lagrange will be closed Monday, according to the Emory Healthcare website. Patients at those locations will be contacted to reschedule their appointments, the website said.

Emory Healthcare’s seven hospitals are preparing for Hurricane Irma by topping off fuel supplies to keep generators running in the event of power outages, checking potable water supplies and working with its linen cleaning company to have a full supply of clean linens ahead of the storm, Emory Healthcare Director of Media Relations Janet Christenbury wrote in an email to the Wheel.

Shuttle services will be limited on Monday, according to an email from Offices of Residence Life and Housing Operations. If winds exceed 40 mph service will be suspended and will not run, the email said.

Government officials said Hurricane Irma hit Florida as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour early Sunday, according to The New York Times. Downgraded to Category 3, Hurricane Irma made landfall at Marco Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast Sunday afternoon, according to the Times. The hurricane was downgraded to a Category 2 as it approached Naples Friday evening, Fla., according to the Associated Press.

The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning for DeKalb County early Sunday for 36 hours.

Destructive wind, flash flooding and tornadoes could affect the area, according to the National Weather Service. Potential impacts include fallen trees, scattered power and communications outages, dangerous flooding and tornadoes.

“There is no need to evacuate Emory campuses; the community will follow the procedures to shelter in place should we need to do so,” the University said in a press release and University-wide email early Sunday. “The university’s emergency notification system will be used to send out urgent actionable information.”

Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) urged people to download the LiveSafe App, which offers alerts from University safety officials and access to emergency procedures, in an all-Emory email Thursday as Hurricane Irma approached Florida.

Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Joanne Brzinski wrote in a Sept. 10 email to College students that Monday classes are cancelled and to expect professors to inform students about make-up work and exams on a case-by-case basis.    

The BBA Program Office advised students in a Friday email to prepare supplies, such as charged flashlights, external phone batteries and water for the severe weather, that is predicted to arrive in Atlanta as early as Sunday evening.

Oxford College sent out an email to students early Saturday in preparation of the storm. The email announced there would be an extra shuttle running so students could shop.

Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for all counties in Georgia on Sunday. President Donald J. Trump declared a state of emergency in Georgia and ordered federal assistance to response efforts for Hurricane Irma, according to a White House press release Friday.

Approximately 10 percent of gas stations in the metro Atlanta area were out of gas as of Sunday morning, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Campus Life sent out a University-wide email Friday evening offering resources to those affected by Hurricane Irma, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Atlanta Public Schools (APS) will be closed Monday.

Trump issued federal emergency declarations in advance of Hurricane Irma’s landfall for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Florida Sept. 5, according to a Sept. 8 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) press release. Trump issued another federal emergency declaration for South Carolina and the Catawba Indian Nation Sept. 7, the release said.

Richard Chess and Alex Klugerman contributed reporting.

UPDATE (9/10/17 at 2:56 p.m.): The story was updated to reflect a statement from Sunstein.

UPDATE (9/10/17 at 3:18 p.m.): The story was updated to reflect an email that Oxford College sent.

UPDATE (9/10/17 at 5:12 p.m.): The story was updated to reflect a Campus Life Facebook post, an email from DePriest and new information on the category of Hurricane Irma.

UPDATE (9/10/17 at 9:49 p.m.): The story was updated to reflect a statements from Emory Healthcare and the Offices of Residence Life and Housing Operations.

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