According to reports from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Florence — currently 1,300 miles southeast off of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina — has strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph. The hurricane is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane as well.
In light of this update, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Sam Jones alerted the campus community in a TribeAlert message. According to Jones, the first priority for students is to review their emergency evacuation plans to make sure that all plans include arrangements for transportation and alternative housing.
Jones also encouraged students to enroll in the College’s mass notification system, to review power-outage preparation guidelines and to review the emergency alert systems, including RAVE and Alertus.
At this time, Jones said that he and other EMT members must wait to know more about the storm’s path and impact on the Hampton Roads and Williamsburg areas.
Over the weekend, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm. As Jones said in the email, it is not yet clear what effect Hurricane Florence will have on residents of the City of Williamsburg and surrounding communities, but Northam has advised that these communities prepare for rains, strong storms and flooding.
Northam has also issued a mandatory evacuation notice for areas including Seaford and parts of the Virginia Beach area. No parts of James City County or Williamsburg are included in this area. The York County School District and Thomas Nelson Community College have both cancelled classes for the rest of this week in anticipation of inclement weather.