Updates on Tropical Storm Florence

September 19, 2018

With sunny skies returning at last to the Roanoke Valley, I thought this would be a good time to recap the past week’s events in relation to Hurricane Florence and let you know where we stand now.

I am pleased to report that the Hollins campus is in great shape. Other than a few downed tree limbs, we suffered no damage to our buildings and grounds. While nearby creeks and streams rose, no flooding occurred.

Indeed, we are extremely fortunate to have only received three to four inches of rain. A week ago, some forecasts were predicting that the already-saturated Roanoke area could receive up to two feet of rainfall from Florence, which led to our decision to cancel classes until further notice beginning Wednesday, September 12. The well-being of our students is, of course, our greatest priority, and we felt it was imperative that they have time to travel home or to other locations out of harm’s way before the storm came inland. Students who could not leave campus were moved to residence halls on Front Quad, which offered safety and security. We closely monitored Florence’s progress, and once it was determined that the storm’s impact to our area would dissipate by early Monday morning, we were able to announce that our residence halls would reopen that afternoon and classes would resume on Tuesday, September 18. Most of our students have returned to campus, and our operations and activities are back to normal.

I want to take this opportunity to praise our Emergency Response Management Team (ERMT) for their exceptional work throughout the threat from Florence. Ably led by Vice President Kerry Edmonds, our ERMT made certain that Hollins’ response was proactive and organized. From arranging housing and dining services for students remaining on campus to ensuring that floodgates, water pumps, and sandbags were at-the-ready at our most vulnerable buildings, our staff went above and beyond to protect our community. I am so grateful to our community for your continued support through this time and afterward.

While we at Hollins are grateful to have escaped significant impact from Florence, we will continue to keep those who endured the worst of this major weather event foremost in our thoughts during the days and weeks to come. If you or your loved ones have suffered as a result of this storm, please know our hearts are with you as you begin the process of recovery.

Yours,

President Lawrence

 

September 17, 2018

We are pleased to report this morning that Hollins is open and the campus is in good shape. No issues with access to or moving within the campus area.

If you have questions or concerns about travel within Virginia, we encourage you to visit http://www.511virginia.org/ for the latest information on road conditions.

 

September 16, 2018

This is to confirm that Hollins University will reopen our residence halls to students on Monday, September 17, beginning at 2 p.m., and resume classes beginning Tuesday morning, September 18.

If conditions where you are delay your return in time for the resumption of classes on Tuesday morning, please email Vice President Hammer at florence@hollins.edu as soon as possible.

Please continue to monitor the weather forecast between your home or other points of departure and the Hollins campus, and use your best, informed judgement on making travel plans. Your safety and well-being should always come first.

To everyone affected by Hurricane Florence and its aftermath, please know that the Hollins community is keeping you and your loved ones foremost in our thoughts during the days and weeks to come.

 

September 15, 2018

As was communicated yesterday afternoon, Hollins University is tentatively planning to reopen our residence halls to students on Monday, September 17, beginning at 2 p.m., and resume classes on a regular schedule beginning Tuesday morning, September 18.

We are continuing to monitor the path of the slowly moving Tropical Storm Florence and will provide you with an update early tomorrow afternoon.

Please be sure to check your email, Facebook and/or Twitter feeds, and/or the Hollins website.

 

September 14, 2018

As of this afternoon, Hollins University is tentatively planning to reopen our residence halls to students on Monday, September 17, beginning at 2 p.m., and resume classes on a regular schedule beginning Tuesday morning, September 18. 

Please note that this schedule is subject to change as we continue to monitor Hurricane Florence’s path and the conditions on campus and in the Roanoke area. It is possible that we will need to change the opening of residence halls and the resumption of classes to a later date and time. 

It is crucial that you continue to monitor email, Facebook, Twitter, and/or the Hollins website for important updates this weekend.

Currently, we are expecting to see the heaviest rains from Florence begin sometime Saturday night and continue through daybreak on Monday. While we are confident that Hollins does not face the potential for catastrophic flooding, there is the possibility of localized flooding on campus this weekend. Our maintenance and physical plant staffs have been working diligently throughout the week to ensure floodgates and water pumps have been tested and are fully operational at our most vulnerable buildings.

Please keep an eye on weather predictions between home or other points of departure and the Hollins campus, and use your best, informed judgement on making travel plans. Your safety and well-being should always come first.


September 13, 2018

As the outer bands of Hurricane Florence make landfall today, we are continuing to closely monitor the storm’s track and its possible impact on southwest Virginia and the Hollins campus. Presently, heavy rain is still predicted here, and indications are that if flooding occurs, it will be localized rather than widespread.

Nevertheless, Florence’s path is by no means set. It is essential that we all remain alert to any changes in the forecast in the days to come. As The Washington Post reported this morning, “While all simulations show the storm turning back to the north Sunday or Monday, exactly where that turn occurs is a big wild card. The storm could track north through the Ohio Valley, the Appalachians or even closer to the Interstate 95 corridor. The specifics of the track early next week will have implications for where the heaviest rainfall occurs north of the Carolinas.”

As we shared yesterday: As soon as it is appropriate to do so, we will issue an announcement on when classes will resume.

A reminder: Please sign up for e2Campus, Hollins University’s mass emergency notification system, if you haven’t already registered. e2Campus can alert members of the Hollins community with text messages on their cell phones, desktop alerts on their computers, e-mail messages and voice messages on their phones, as well as social media. Time-sensitive messages can be delivered immediately. In the event of a campus emergency or a school closing due to inclement weather, an alert message is sent out to any text-capable device such as a mobile phone or an e-mail address a user has registered with the system. The choice is yours and you can enter multiple addresses. Parents are welcome to sign up for these messages as well.

Use your Hollins login username and password to create an account:

https://hollins.omnilert.net/?sso=1

If you are not an employee or student (i.e. parent, spouse or family member), you can create a login here:

https://hollins.omnilert.net/subscriber.php?command=show_signup


September 12, 2018

Thanks to everyone for your cooperation and understanding over the past 24 hours in light of our decision to cancel classes for the rest of this week. Even though Hurricane Florence is currently predicted to track farther south than originally anticipated, we still expect to see significant rain in our area through this weekend. With the ground already saturated from precipitation unrelated to Florence, flooding remains a very real possibility. This is still a potentially dangerous weather event for southwest Virginia and we urge everyone to remain diligent regarding their safety and well-being.

We will continue to closely monitor developments concerning this major storm. As soon as it is appropriate, we will issue an announcement on when classes will resume.

If you have not already done so, we strongly encourage you to sign up for e2Campus, Hollins University’s mass emergency notification system. e2Campus can alert members of the Hollins community with text messages on their cell phones, desktop alerts on their computers, e-mail messages and voice messages on their phones, as well as social media. Time-sensitive messages can be delivered immediately. In the event of a campus emergency or a school closing due to inclement weather, an alert message is sent out to any text-capable device such as a mobile phone or an e-mail address a user has registered with the system. The choice is yours and you can enter multiple addresses. Parents are welcome to sign up for these messages as well.

Use your Hollins login username and password to create and account:

https://hollins.omnilert.net/?sso=1

If you are not an employee or student (i.e. parent, spouse or family member), you can create a login here:

https://hollins.omnilert.net/subscriber.php?command=show_signup


September 11, 2018

The well-being of our students is our top priority, and in light of the potential impact of Hurricane Florence, Hollins University is cancelling classes beginning Wednesday, September 12, at 12:30 p.m., and continuing through Friday, September 14.

One of the possible effects of this storm is major flooding, and much of Hollins lies in a flood zone. The campus in fact experienced devastating flooding in 1985. Thus, out of an abundance of caution, the decision to cancel classes was made.

Students are asked to leave campus and either go home or stay with relatives and friends, so long as they are out of harm’s way. Students who need to leave campus earlier than Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. may do so as an excused absence.

Students who are not able to leave campus by noon on Thursday, September 13, should contact Melissa Hine in Housing and Residence Life (hinemd@hollins.edu). Student Affairs is developing plans to relocate students to a centralized location on campus for their safety.

All students are strongly encouraged to contact their families as soon as possible to let them know whether they are leaving campus or staying.

During the period that classes are cancelled, the campus will remain open. However, if circumstances mandate, the campus may be closed completely and evacuation procedures put into action. Only essential personnel will be allowed to remain. Additional details will be shared as warranted.

We will continue to keep you informed as this situation develops over the coming days. In the meantime, we urge you to stay up-to-date about Hurricane Florence by tuning to our local radio and television outlets, and by regularly visiting websites such as http://www.noaa.gov/ and https://weather.com/ for the latest news.