Tropical Storm Ian is making its way to North Carolina. Here’s what Duke can expect

Follow The Chronicle's live updates here for the most up to date information on Duke's preparation ahead of Tropical Storm Ian.

Tropical Storm Ian may cause heavy rain and flooding starting Thursday night, but as of now Homecoming Weekend and Saturday's football game against Virginia will take place as scheduled.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for central North Carolina, which could see two to six inches of rain through Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Flash flooding, wind gusts around 40-50 mph, and isolated tornadoes are also possible

Ian, now downgraded to a tropical storm, made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Florida yesterday. 

“Given both the size of this storm and potential for state-wide impact, preparations are well underway at both campuses here in Durham and in Beaufort [Duke Marine Lab]” said Chloe Hallberg, executive director, business continuity and emergency management, in a release.

University and health system crews have cleared out drains and prepared generators. Response teams will be available from Friday to Sunday, per the release

Duke transit, including buses, will continue operating "as long as it is safe to do so," according to the release. Community members are encouraged to check Duke TransLoc for updates. 

Duke officials have taken precaution around outdoor activities planned for this weekend, including those for Homecoming, according to a Thursday morning email obtained by The Chronicle sent from Russell Thompson, interim vice president, operations, emergency coordinator, and Hallberg. The email was sent to vice presidents, vice provosts, deans, directors, department heads and managers.

Friday’s Forever Duke Block Party and Saturday’s Homecoming Pre-Game Tailgate are now indoors. The “This is Duke” photo shoot has been canceled.

Thursday afternoon, Duke women’s soccer announced that its Friday match against Virginia had been rescheduled for Sunday. Saturday's softball match against Charlotte has been rescheduled to Oct. 14.  Duke baseball's exhibition against N.C. State at nearby Durham Bulls Athletic Park was also moved up to Thursday evening.

Other home games Friday and Saturday, which the Thursday morning email said are to be played as scheduled, include volleyball against Pittsburgh at 6:30 p.m Friday and football against Virginia at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium.

Members of the community should monitor DukeToday and as conditions change.

Individuals are asked to remain indoors to avoid falling trees and limbs or downed electrical lines, according to the email. Any potential safety-related issues, such as downed trees or power lines, should be reported to the Duke University Police Department at 919-684-2444.

The email also read that “crews on campus have helped prepare the campus to weather the storm” but still asked each department to take precautionary steps, including securing all windows in buildings and removing any outdoor furniture. 

Flooding or property damage should be immediately reported to Facilities Management for the university campus, and to Engineering & Operations for Duke Hospital and the School of Medicine. 

Community members should report power outages for Duke facilities on or off campus to Facilities Management Department customer service at 919-684-2122 or FMD Report Power Out's email at, and include the physical address of the building. 

If Duke’s severe weather policy is activated, it will notify members of the community through DukeAlert channels. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Editor's Note: This story was updated Thursday 3:30 p.m. to reflect the tropical storm warning, some games being rescheduled, and information regarding Duke transit, generators, drains and response teams. 

Katie Tan profile
Katie Tan | Digital Strategy Director

Katie Tan is a Trinity senior and digital strategy director of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously managing editor for Volume 118. 


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