The National Hurricane Center announced Florence was increased to a Category 4 hurricane Monday morning, with a projected path toward the Carolinas. Monday evening, AlertCarolina sent an email announcing UNC classes will be canceled from 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
"All students are strongly encouraged to leave the Chapel Hill area before the storm hits," the email read.
Residence halls will remain open.
Carolina Dining Service announced the hours and locations operating from Wednesday, Sept. 12, through Sunday, Sept. 16.
On Wednesday, all locations will close at 5 p.m., while Chase and Top of Lenoir Dining Hall will remain open until 7 p.m. Chase will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. for the rest of the week. Top of Lenoir will operate on those same hours for Thursday, but Friday and weekend hours are dependent on the severity of the storm.
"Again, if power and connectivity allow, we will make real-time updates to dining.unc.edu and social feeds," Carolina Dining Services announced. "But at a minimum you can rest assured that you will be able to get a meal at Chase between 10 a.m.—7 p.m."
North Carolina State University canceled classes beginning Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. until the evening of Sunday, Sept. 16, although dining and residence halls will remain open. UNC-Wilmington canceled all classes and ordered a voluntary evacuation at noon on Monday.East Carolina University canceled classes starting at noon on Tuesday for the remainder of the week.
North and South Carolina are under a state of emergency, and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered the coastline to evacuate.
The National Hurricane Center predicts Florence will reach the East Coast as early as Wednesday night, and its winds are nearing 140 mph. The Center projects wind speed will continue to increase, potentially elevating Florence to a Category 5.
UNC has encouraged students to watch for updates from Alert Carolina and the LiveSafe app. The email sent to faculty and students was nearly identical to those sent in preparation for Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Joaquin in 2015.
Matthew, a Category 5 hurricane, left 26 dead in North Carolina and relief efforts continued across Eastern North Carolina after more than a year. Joaquin’s numbers fell just short of a Category 5, but resulted in a state-wide evacuation two days before the hurricane reached the East Coast.
Neither Hurricane Matthew nor Joaquin resulted in canceled classes or operations at UNC.
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