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2019-20 DukeALERT roundup: Less crime, lots of inclement weather

Two DukeALERTs were issued for crime and four for inclement weather from June 2019 to May 2020.

The academic year saw a decrease in crime-related DukeALERTs, with the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years having three each. DukeALERTs are sent at the discretion of the University in emergency situations and are not issued for all on-campus crimes. 

There was no DukeALERT issued for the theft that occurred in Gilbert-Addoms residence hall in November 2019.

Oct. 3, 2019

A DukeALERT reported an armed robbery near 1400 Morreene Road that took place around 9 a.m.. The suspect “approached a vehicle that pulled up to [an] ATM, displayed a knife and demanded money,” according to the alert.

The event was not near Duke’s main campus, but the address is close to the Duke Health and Fitness Center, the Duke Center for Living and other University-affiliated buildings.

Oct. 11, 2019

At 3:55 p.m. a DukeALERT reported a shooting at the BP Station at 2432 Erwin Road. 

The victim was sitting in a car in the gas station’s parking lot when shots were fired from another vehicle with at least two people in it, Durham Police Department spokeswoman Kammie Michael told The Chronicle at the time. The victim’s car then rolled onto Erwin Road and collided with two other vehicles.  The suspect fled west on Erwin Road in a black Jeep, according to the alert.

The victim, who was not affiliated with the University, was transported to Duke Hospital and treated in the emergency department.

Oct. 31, 2019; Feb. 6, 2020; April 13, 2020

Three DukeALERTs were issued for tornado warnings during the 2019-2020 academic year, occurring Oct. 31, Feb. 6 and Apr. 13. 

The Feb. 6 notification stated that there was no threat to campus but that the heavy rainfall that passed through the area had an impact on facilities.

At 2:55 p.m. that day, residents of Pegram and Alspaugh dorms were notified that the power would be shut off for at least an hour due to a maintenance issue caused by flooding, according to emails from East Campus housing staff.

Feb. 20, 2020

It wasn’t a full snow day, but this DukeALERT notified students that the severe weather policy would be activated from 7 to 10 a.m. the next day after the first snowfall of the year. As a result, classes before 10 a.m. Feb. 21 were canceled.

The decision followed suit with other Triangle universities like North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Temperatures will drop below freezing after midnight, which could lead to icy patches on roads and walkways,” the DukeALERT read. “Please plan ahead and allow extra time and use caution when traveling to and around campus during this time.”

Most external stairs and steep inclines were closed for safety, and members of the community were encouraged to take alternate paths. An update was sent the morning of Feb. 21 stating that crews had worked in the evening and early morning hours to treat surfaces with ice melt and that buses and vans were expected to run as usual by 8 a.m.


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