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Duke suspends in-person classes Thursday morning amid impending winter storm

Thursday morning’s in-person classes are off with an unusual “ice day” expected in Durham, and professors are urged to hold those classes online if possible. 

Current forecasts show that Durham may see as much as a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation Thursday morning. With the winter storm ahead, Duke administrators chose not to activate Duke’s severe weather policy, but suspended in-person classes until 11:45 a.m. Thursday and suspended surveillance testing for everyone except on-campus undergraduates, according to a Wednesday evening email to students from Provost Sally Kornbluth. 

Duke has requesting that all professors with in-person classes before 11:45 a.m. move those classes online if possible, and if not to delay them to specific makeup days later in the spring, Kornbluth wrote. 

The severe weather policy has specific rules regarding when it can be declared and involves changes to staffing. The provost makes the decision to hold or cancel classes separately. 

Classes starting after 11:45 will go on, although Duke may decide to extent the pause, Kornbluth wrote. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Durham County from 12 a.m. Thursday to 7 a.m. Friday. 

A news release earlier on Wednesday said Duke officials were monitoring weather forecasts in anticipation of sleet and freezing rain. 

The impacts of this icing may include power outages, tree damage and “nearly impossible” travel.

As reported by Duke Today, should the university activate the Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions, a DukeALERT notification will be broadcast. 

Schools and universities in the area have taken precautions in case of adverse weather conditions. 

North Carolina State will have reduced operations from 10 p.m. Wednesday until 11 a.m., The Technician reported Wednesday. 

Durham Public Schools facilities will be closed Thursday, and online classes have been canceled. Orange County Schools buildings will also be closed Thursday, with both in-person and remote learning cancelled because of possible power outages. 

This is a developing story and may be updated if new information becomes available.

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