Many thanks to the numerous staff who tirelessly worked to clean up damage caused by Hurricane Matthew and make sure our campus was prepared for normal class and work schedules this week.
Although conditions on campus are back to normal, the massive storm left many areas in our state dealing with major flooding, power outages, widespread damage and even loss of life.
For NC State, we’re evaluating specifics but we know several university cooperative extension offices, 4-H camps and research stations across the state have suffered significant damage. We’re certainly not the only university dealing with the storm’s impacts. Students at UNC-Pembroke, for example, have been evacuated due to flooding in the area. NC State has opened its doors to provide emergency housing to about 20 UNC-Pembroke foreign exchange students at Wolf Village. If you meet any of these guests on campus over the next few days, please provide them a warm welcome to our university.
From a broader perspective, more than 30 North Carolina counties have been declared federal disaster areas. Several towns across the eastern part of the state are being inundated by more flooding caused by rivers that are still rising. The storm and its aftermath are having devastating impacts on agriculture: crops of cotton, sweet potatoes and peanuts have been damaged; poultry and hog productions will suffer.
As North Carolina’s largest university, NC State is home to students from all 100 North Carolina counties. Through our Extension network and other research, education and outreach programs, we have employees who live across the state and serve every county. We also have a number of students and employees who commute a good distance to campus from all directions.
We know there are individuals in our NC State community who remain affected by power outages and flooding issues, who have had to return to their hometowns and family farms to help families dealing with flooding or other damage, or who otherwise have difficulty traveling to campus due to Hurricane Matthew. Our top concern remains the safety and wellbeing of students, faculty, staff and their families.
Students, if you are unable to attend class, contact the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) at 919-515-2446 between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. DASA staff will assist you in communicating with your professors and provide guidance on how to best manage your individual situation.
Faculty, we encourage you to be flexible and work with students in these situations to allow opportunities to make up missed work. In the event that faculty members cannot travel to campus, please notify your department chair and/or dean as soon as possible.
Staff, please contact your supervisors directly if you cannot make it into work due to impacts of the storm. As in other adverse weather situations, supervisors are encouraged to authorize telecommuting/working from home or approve flexible schedules when feasible.
Finally, if the storm’s effects have you feeling overwhelmed or otherwise needing to talk to someone, please contact one of the counselors available for students, faculty and staff. Students can visit the Counseling Center on the second floor of the Student Health Center on campus from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays, or call 919-515- 2423 24-hours-a-day. Faculty and staff can access counseling through the university’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program by calling 866-467-0467.
As our state works to recover from Hurricane Matthew, please keep in mind the storm will continue to have long-lasting impacts on many in our Wolfpack community. I encourage students, faculty and staff to be aware of what those around you might be dealing with, and as always, please take care of yourselves and take care of each other.