After Hurricane Dorian battered Duke’s Marine Lab Thursday with winds of up to 85 mph, the lab is back open.
Duke had evacuated students from the Beaufort, N.C., lab to Durham Wednesday morning and canceled classes Wednesday through Friday. The Marine Lab opened up Sunday at 12 p.m., with classes set to restart Monday, the University wrote in a news release.
The Marine Lab endured only "relatively minor damage" including a power outage that ended Saturday, downed trees and "rainwater intrusion" in many buildings, the release said. Repairs are being made, according to the release.
“We had tremendous support from our friends on main campus, who arranged housing for our residential students and offered their homes to displaced faculty and graduate students,” said Andy Read, director of the Duke Marine Lab, in the release. “As always, our team here in Beaufort made sure that the campus was prepared and our students and staff were safe. We are very fortunate—our thoughts are with those who suffered and lost so much from this storm.”
The lab, about 175 miles southeast of Durham, wasn’t as lucky last year when Hurricane Florence ravaged North Carolina’s coast. After Florence ripped through the area last September leaving water damage and a roof peeled back, it took several weeks for classes to resume and six weeks for “normal operations” to resume.
This time around, the facilities team made two major improvements for preparation: improving their “roof system” and installing more storm resistant shutters, Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh wrote in an email to The Chronicle.
Dorian, once a Category 5 hurricane, killed 43 people and left more than 70,000 homeless after wreaking havoc in the Bahamas, CNN reported. Its outskirts did come through the Durham area, but were little more than a typical rainstorm.
“We are feeling incredibly fortunate,” Cavanaugh wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “This was a significant storm, which had tremendous impact on the coast, but fortunately the Triangle was spared some of the potential devastating destruction.”