BOONE — Appalachian State officials provided the following campus update as of 2:30 p.m. Sunday:
Appalachian State University has been encouraging its students, faculty and staff to prepare for Florence since Tuesday, Sept. 11, and given specific safety tips they could take ahead of the hurricane, which was expected to make landfall in North Carolina Friday.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, a decision was made to cancel classes Thursday, Sept. 13, and Friday, Sept. 14, to allow students who live in areas likely to be severely impacted by Hurricane Florence to prepare accordingly. On Friday, Sept. 14, the decision was made to cancel classes Monday, Sept. 17, and Tuesday, Sept. 18, with confidence growing for the Boone area to experience significant potential impact from Hurricane Florence, in a message stating “the safety of students, faculty and staff traveling to campus is paramount.”
About 50 percent of students who live in on-campus housing, just under 3,000, remained on campus through the weekend. Residence halls and dining facilities remain open for them, as well as campus facilities that could provide activities and entertainment.
Florence’s rain and wind arrived in Boone overnight Saturday.
Local shelters were opened at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. On the Appalachian campus, no evacuees had arrived at the Quinn Center shelter as of noon Sunday. At Alliance Bible Fellowship, a shelter operated by the Red Cross had eight people as of Sunday morning.
Appalachian is coordinating with local and state partners in the event emergency response plans need to be implemented. So far, this has included providing shelter for 16 members of the Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search and Rescue Team.