Tigerville, S.C. -- The following is an email sent to North Greenville faculty, staff, and students, by Vice President Tony Beam, regarding the school's preparations for the possible impact of Hurricane Irma.
We are monitoring the track of Hurricane Irma and we are obviously dealing with a rapidly changing set of circumstances. The latest tracking information from the National Weather Service shows the storm moving in a much more northwesterly direction. If this latest model holds, it would be good news for the Upstate of South Carolina. Whereas, yesterday we were looking at category 1 hurricane force winds and torrential rain, we may now be looking at 2 to 4 inches of rain and wind gusts of 30 to 35 miles per hour. We will continue to monitor the storm taking all of the latest information into consideration as we make decisions over the next 48 hours.
In order to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on campus, we have established two emergency shelters. One will be the Todd Dining Hall and Student Center and the other is the Craft Hemphill building. Campus Enhancement is adding generators to both of these locations so, in the event the storm does come our way, we can maintain enough power to provide food and water and keep the lights on.
If, on Monday, conditions warrant everyone on campus moving to one of the shelters, we will send out a Blackboard alert with text messaging and email advising everyone to move to the shelters. The way things look right now with the forecast that may not be necessary but we want to remain prepared for the worst as we pray for the best.
At this point, we still believe it will be prudent for as many students as possible to go home for the weekend and monitor communication from the University as the track of the hurricane becomes clearer. If we do encounter severe weather and have to shelter people who are on campus, we will be able to provide a better environment for those taking shelter if our numbers on campus are lower. As mentioned in the previous email, we will make a decision about classes by noon on Sunday. Please check your phone or other devices beginning at noon on Sunday for a decision about classes on Monday and Tuesday. Again, if you are more comfortable staying on campus for the storm you are certainly welcome to stay.
We continue to be much in prayer for everyone who is in the path of this storm. We pray the storm will stay out in the Atlantic away from inhabited areas, but we will continue to be diligent in our preparations in the event the storm does impact our area.