Wake Forest University continues to monitor the track of Hurricane Florence and its potential impact to the campus community, which we will begin to experience today.

Hurricane Florence made landfall around 7:15 a.m. near Wilmington, N.C., approximately 225 miles from Winston-Salem. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service indicates 6-10 inches of rain and winds of 15-30 mph with gusts up to 35-40 mph for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area over the next several days.

Local emergency managers continue to prepare for rain, winds, potential flooding and possible power outages. Windy conditions have begun and some rain is expected later today. Because the storm is moving slowly, the most significant impacts on our area are now projected to begin on Saturday, with rain and higher winds picking up significantly in the afternoon.

As always, the health, safety and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff are the University’s highest priorities. While we hope that the impact on our area is less than anticipated, we encourage you to remember these tips, wherever you are:

  • Turn around! Don’t drown! Do not drive through standing water. Turn around and find another path.
  • Avoid touching or approaching any fallen power line. The line and/or surrounding water could be electrically charged.
  • Use caution if you are outside. Avoid standing or walking under large trees. High winds can cause limbs and debris to become loose and/or airborne.

Students returning from outside the region will want to take precautions with highways, airports and keep aware of changing conditions, as well as stay in communication with faculty. The North Carolina Department of Transportation provides real-time traffic conditions on its website. North Carolina airports are advising passengers to check regularly with airlines as flight cancellations are expected to increase throughout the weekend.

Wake Forest will continue to provide mid-day updates Saturday and Sunday about Hurricane Florence, or as weather conditions necessitate.

All Hurricane Florence-related updates will be posted on the Wake Alert website (wakealert.wfu.edu). Please continue to monitor the Wake Alert website, follow @WakeAlert on Twitter and Facebook (facebook.com/WakeAlert), and add the Wake Forest Weather/Emergency line (336-758-5935) to phone contacts.

Some are asking how you can help. As you know, Wake Forest’s LJVM Coliseum is officially open as a shelter to house evacuees from coastal areas, with accommodations for pets. The American Red Cross is managing and operating the shelter in coordination with Forsyth County. Those interested in volunteering may register at www.redcross.org/volunteer.

Wake Forest Communications and External Relations