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Northeastern closes Charlotte campus, cancels day and evening classes Monday as Florence floods Carolinas

Floodwaters move across Neuse Road, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Kinston, N.C., following Hurricane Florence. (Janet S. Carter/Daily Free Press via AP)

Northeastern University closed its Charlotte campus Sunday and cancelled on-campus classes and activities scheduled for Monday because of severe weather from Florence. The storm, downgraded early Sunday from a hurricane to a tropical depression, has brought heavy rain and strong winds to the Charlotte region.

Both daytime and evening classes were cancelled for Monday, although online classes were unaffected and remain scheduled as planned. Students with questions regarding their class assignments or experiencing power outages because of the weather were advised to contact their instructors directly for further instructions.

Florence made landfall in the Carolinas on Friday and had reportedly left at least 17 people dead as of Sunday evening and brought historic flooding to many areas.

The university is continuing to monitor the situation and said it would provide another update by Monday afternoon regarding any change in class schedule or campus closing for Tuesday. The university urged members of its community in the Charlotte area to stay safe and check the Charlotte campus’s website and social media for updates.

Northeastern’s Charlotte campus has mobilized a robust network of people to monitor weather patterns, assess risks, and provide support services to students and their families as then Hurricane Florence moved toward the North Carolina coast last week.   

While the inland city rarely faces challenges from hurricanes, campus officials employ a series of emergency protocols to handle any weather-related events, according to Cheryl Richards, chief executive officer and regional dean of Northeastern’s Charlotte campus. Richards and other campus leaders worked with Northeastern University’s Emergency Services and local authorities to assess the storm’s impact as it drew closer late last week.

The Charlotte campus serves many students, Richards said, including those who study on campus and take classes online. “We consider our students anyone across nine states in the Southeast, many of whom may live in the coastal areas of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and West Virginia—all of which are affected by the path of Hurricane Florence,” she said.

Todd Kaplan, Northeastern’s emergency operations manager, said last week that that the Northeastern University Police Department and the Facilities Division were coordinating with weather forecasters and emergency managers to provide timely updates and keep tabs on students and their family members who are in the path of the storm.

Kaplan has been working with emergency managers in North Carolina and school administrators in Boston and Charlotte to coordinate the university’s response. He said university officials also contacted co-op students working in the area, and students whose families live in the path of the storm, to offer any assistance they can.

“What we always try to do is make sure that everybody is informed, aware of everything that’s going on, so they can make the right decisions,” Kaplan said.

Laura Castañón contributed to this story.

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