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Hurricane Ian live updates: Duke prepares as storm makes its way to NC

Hurricane Ian may cause heavy rain and flooding starting Thursday night, but as of Thursday afternoon, 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. A flood watch will be in effect for the region from Friday 6 a.m. to Saturday 9 a.m.

Ian made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Florida Wednesday. It was downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday, then regained hurricane strength in the evening. 

Friday, Sept. 30

8:35 p.m.: Flash flood warning in effect for Durham area until 11:30 p.m., per National Weather Service  

5 p.m.: Ian downgraded to post-tropical cyclone

Ian is predicted to dissipate by early Sunday over western North Carolina or Virginia, per the National Hurricane Center

"It should be emphasized that just because Ian has become a post-tropical cyclone that the danger is not over," the National Hurricane Center announcement read. "Dangerous storm surge, flash flooding and high winds are still in the forecast from this cyclone. "

2 p.m.: NC Gov. Roy Cooper: ‘Hurricane Ian is at our door’

Cooper held a news briefing at 2 p.m., just before the hurricane made landfall in South Carolina. He urged people to stay indoors and off the roads, noting possible flooding. 

"Hurricane Ian is at our door," he said. “We expect drenching rain and sustained, heavy winds over most of our state. Our message today is simple. Be smart and be safe.”

12 p.m.: Students still must move cars from Blue Zone ahead of football game

Students with cars in Blue Zone will still have to move them to alternate lots by 9 a.m. Saturday in keeping with Blue Zone permit policy ahead of football games, per a noon email sent from Parking and Transportation.  

Saturday’s football game against Virginia at 7:30 in Wallace Wade Stadium is still scheduled. 

Vehicles can be moved to lots on Anderson St. and Smith Warehouse. To return to West Campus after moving their cars, students can walk back or take the C1 bus. 

After 2 p.m., campus buses will operate on a limited schedule until 6:30 p.m. 

10:11 a.m.: Friday afternoon classes canceled due to high winds, no plans to activate severe weather policy

Classes on-site after 1 p.m. Friday are canceled due to a forecast of sustained winds of 30 to 46 mph, per a DukeAlert sent to the Duke community. Faculty may decide to hold classes online. 

Campus buses will continue operation until 2 p.m. and will then be suspended for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Hospital transit will continue until it is safe to do so.

Dining facilities will remain open. 

Duke does not plan to activate the severe weather and emergency conditions policy, per the alert.

Recreation facilities, including the Wilson Center and Brodie Center, will also close at 1 p.m., per a noon email from Duke Recreation and Physical Education. 

Thursday, Sept. 29   

8 p.m.: Staff secure outdoor furniture on Bryan Center plaza 

Ahead of forecasts of high-speed winds, tables were turned upside down and chairs were folded up on the Bryan Center plaza by Thursday night.

bryan center plaza hurricane

4:47 p.m.: West Campus, East Campus, Swift residents receive instructions to prepare for storm

To prepare student rooms, students should shut and lock windows, consider storing bicycles in rooms, parking mopeds and scooters in parked garages, and keep laptops and phones charged. Residents in apartments should bring anything on their balconies inside. 

Some students may be temporarily relocated to vacancies in rooms on-campus. In past storms, Duke has provided emergency housing to students living off-campus who were impacted by the storm or students living at the Marine Lab, according to the emails from Dani Harmston, associate dean for West campus, and Brandin Howard, associate dean for East campus and apartments. 

If students’ rooms experience an emergency “such as a water leak from heavy rains or a window broken by debris,” they should let HRL know as soon as possible so that HRL can arrange emergency maintenance. 

During business hours, Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m.– 5 p.m.), students should contact the HRL office for their campus. When the HRL office is closed, students should report maintenance issues to their RA-on-Call. 

If students see a campus maintenance issue, flooding or a tree blown over, they should call Duke University Police Department at 919-684-2444. 

Bus services on campus may be delayed, altered or canceled. Several dining venues may function on reduced hours or limited menus. Library hours may also be affected. 

2:40 p.m.: Duke women's soccer announces Friday match against Virginia rescheduled for Sunday

Duke's match against Virginia at Koskinen Stadium has been rescheduled for Sunday, per a team release Thursday. The tilt between the second-ranked Cavaliers and fourth-ranked Blue Devils, originally set to kick off Friday at 7 p.m., will instead begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The postponement comes after Duke softball's home fall ball game against Charlotte, originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved to Oct. 14, and after Duke baseball's Friday exhibition against N.C. State at Durham Bulls Athletic Park was rescheduled for Thursday.

8:45 a.m.: Duke emergency coordinators announce precautionary steps, Homecoming Weekend and Saturday football game to proceed

“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 say they have taken precaution around outdoor activities planned for this weekend, including those for Homecoming. Home games Friday and Saturday which, as of now, 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.

Read our full story on precautionary steps and what Duke can expect here.


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