As Hurricane Florence keeps the Cape Fear region in her sights, officials at the University of North Carolina Wilmington have now issued a mandatory evacuation for students and declared a State of Emergency.
According to a Monday afternoon press release, the mandatory campus evacuation for all students is effective at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Students must evacuate campus beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, and must leave campus no later than 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11. (A voluntary evacuation remains in place until then.)
The university is collaborating with UNC Asheville to house those UNCW students who do not have other options for safe shelter. A shelter, with cots for students, is in place at UNC Asheville and meals will be made available to students housed there.
UNCW officials advise students to fill up with gas, have a paper map in hand, and cash -- as there could be challenges finding finding functioning ATMs and gas stations.
Campus officials began with a voluntary evacuation at noon on Monday, September 10th. All university-sponsored events and athletics, including Fall Family and Alumni Weekend (Sept. 14-15), the women’s soccer match vs. ECU on Thursday (Sept. 13) and the Hampton Inn Seahawk Invitational women’s volleyball tournament (Sept. 14-15) are canceled.
A voluntary evacuation encourages students to leave for a safer location, but it does not require them to leave, say officials. However, classes are canceled and grading and attendance policies are suspended.
As the situation with Hurricane Florence unfolds and confidence increases with the forecast, UNCW officials could take further action -- including a mandatory campus evacuation and / or campus closure.
The free Inner Mongolia Ensemble performance scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10 in Kenan Auditorium is also canceled and not expected to be rescheduled.