Catholic University Prepares for Hurricane Florence

By Katie Ward and Liz Friden

The Catholic University of America Department of Facilities is preparing for emergency situations, student activities are getting rescheduled, and students plan for a weekend spent inside all thanks to Hurricane Florence.

Florence, now categorized as a Category One storm, made landfall in the Carolinas on Friday morning, and millions of people have already been evacuated from the states’ coastal towns. Maryland governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency on Monday, a day before D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser’s state of emergency announcement. Virginia governor Larry Northam announced a state of emergency on Saturday afternoon.  

The Catholic University campus is preparing for possible power outages, flooding, and heavy rain and wind. University Communications sent out an email on Tuesday afternoon advising students to “remain alert for official communications from the University about possible hurricane-related changes to class schedules, access to University facilities, [and] cancellation or postponement of events”.

“With Florence currently expected to make landfall near the North Carolina/southeast Virginia border, residents in the Washington, D.C., area should anticipate possible sustained high winds, heavy rain, and the potential for localized flooding,” the email read.

Thomasine Johnson, Director of the Department of Public Safety, assured students that she and Director of Environmental Health and Safety were monitoring the situation to put into effect the university’s Emergency Management Plan.

“Although Florence is currently forecast to not have a major impact on the DC area, we met to ensure all of the appropriate mitigation activities for a major weather event are engaged,” Johnson said. “These activities include facilities preparation for possible power outages, wind and water damages.”

Monroe St. Market also sent out an email to its residents, on Wednesday afternoon, recommending that tenants secure furniture from their balconies, avoid using dangerous portable generators, and review renter’s insurance plans. The email also listed charged cell phones, emergency phone numbers, cash, nonperishable food, bottled water, filled medications, and flashlights as supplies necessary in the case of a power failure or other emergency conditions.

Metro Madness, Senior Kickoff, Capital Fest, and Mother Teresa Day of Service, were all originally scheduled for the upcoming weekend. Metro Madness was rescheduled for October 12th, and students are waiting for updates about rain plans for other weekend events. For now, Senior Kickoff has been moved to Heritage Hall, and Capital Fest has been moved to the Pryzbyla Great Rooms.

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