The category 4 storm hits the Texas coast just as classes begin.
By: Victoria Alvarez and Christina Diabo
While most students are walking across their college campus to begin the fall semester, students in schools across Texas are experiencing an unusual first week due to the presence of Hurricane Harvey.
Higher education institutions on the Texas coast have implemented various procedures to respond to what is being called one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the Lone Star state.
While Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has announced the closing and evacuation of its campus, 2,000 to 8,000 students at the University of Houston are expected to have remained on campus through the storm in their dorm rooms, and will continue to do so until Wednesday.
Although the campus is set to remain closed until Wednesday, all of the residence halls are staffed with both first responders and rideout team members.
The University of Houston’s website states, “During this time, the only personnel permitted on campus are those on the UH Rideout Team.” Established to guarantee that the proper procedures are implemented during a state of emergency, the rideout team remains on campus to assist in filing various roles needed during this time.
Located on Ward Island, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has yet to allow their students to move in. Stated on the university’s student information hotline, “before move in can be scheduled, housing staff will conduct a full, in depth inspection of all rooms and common areas to ensure it is safe for our new students.”
On Friday, August 25, Hurricane Harvey was upgraded to a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds, causing flooding and much damage to the coastal area. As of Tuesday, August 29, authorities announced seven deaths have been confirmed as a result of the powerful storm.
Although not in the direct path of the hurricane, the state of Florida is still experiencing rainfall. With hurricane season still present, institutions such as Lynn have implemented procedures in the event of a storm.
A storm-ready facility, Lynn is not located within an evacuation zone. An update on the school website states, “Our storm preparations and facilities can accommodate only the on-campus student community and Lynn ‘first responder’ staff in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.”
Students and staff are being encouraged to follow updates on Hurricane Harvey and to help the victims however they can. The Lynn community is also being reminded to visit lynn.edu/alert for any updates, especially during the hurricane season, in the event of a storm that may affect the area.
Additional resources can be found at National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center and Palm Beach County’s Hurricane Preparedness web page.