Campbell has canceled all classes and suspended normal operations at its campuses in Buies Creek, Raleigh, Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune for Monday, the University announced on Sunday.
Continued rain from Hurricane Florence and deteriorating road conditions in and around Harnett County and much of central and eastern North Carolina led to the decision to cancel classes. A mandatory evacuation was issued by the county for the Keith Hills community, located just a quarter mile from Campbell’s main campus in Buies Creek, because of its proximity to the rising Cape Fear River.
“While damage and flooding have so far been minimal on our main campus, we understand that many of our students who left before the storm are in areas where they cannot safely make it back to campus,” President J. Bradley Creed said. “We will continue to monitor the storm Sunday and Monday and will make a decision regarding Tuesday as soon as we can.”
Hurricane Florence has dumped record amounts of rainfall on North Carolina since making landfall on Friday. Portions of the eastern part of the state have seen as much as 30 inches of rain (the previous record from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 was 24 inches). Harnett County has received between 8 and 10 inches of rain since Thursday and is forecast to receive up to three or four additional inches before Florence moves out on Monday.
Nearly 300 residential students remain on campus for the storm this week. Emergency personnel, Harnett County deputies and residential hall directors and assistants have been on campus since Thursday to assist those students and monitor conditions on campus. Marshbanks Dining Hall will be open to students and staff from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday. The second floor of Wiggins Library will also be open for students.
Evacuations and Shelters
Due to rising waters on the Cape Fear River and the potential for flooding, Harnett County is strongly urging residents who live in close proximity to the river to evacuate to higher ground. County officials are also imposing a mandatory evacuation for Keith Hills, near Campbell University Health Sciences Campus. Specific streets that may be affected are listed below.
A mandatory evacuation for Keith Hills is due to the probability that residents may not be able to get out once flooding reaches a certain level and emergency responders may not be able to get in. Evacuees should make preparations to be away from their homes for at least 48 hours, and possibly longer depending on water levels.
The National Weather Service is projecting the Cape Fear River in Lillington to reach its flood stage of 14 feet later this evening. The river is projected to continue rising rapidly until it crests near major flood stage at 25.8 feet at approximately 8 p.m. on Monday. It is believed properties located in the river’s 100-year flood plain will experience flooding, as well as some properties located in the 500-year flood plain.
Affected areas may include these roads and portions of these roads that are near the Cape Fear River: (Lillington addresses) Woodwater Circle, Parkside Drive, Falls of the Cape Drive, Morgan Farm Drive, Riverside Hills Drive, Ross Road, South River Road, Oak Street, Wildlife Road, Keith Hills Road, Strickland Lane, Wallace Lane, (Erwin addresses) Beaver Dam Road, Glenn Ruth Lane, Bunnlevel Erwin Road, Roosevelt Road, Riverview Road, Waters Edge Drive, (Dunn addresses) Olde Ferry Lane, Tom Byrd Lane, River Bluff Drive, Riley Devereaux Court, (Fuquay-Varina addresses) Jackson Road, Bay Street, Natchez Trace, Canal Street, Dauphine Street, Burgandy Street, Basin Street, and (Broadway addresses) River Ridge Drive.
Emergency responders are going door-to-door in the affected areas this afternoon to encourage residents to evacuate. If residents are not at home, they are leaving evacuation notices at the door.
Any evacuees who need a place to go may go to any of Harnett County’s three emergency shelters. Shelters are open at Western Harnett High School at 10637 N.C. 27, Lillington; Overhills High School at 2495 Ray Road, Spring Lake; and Coats-Erwin Middle School at 2833 N.C. 55, Dunn. Evacuees may take pets to the shelters at Western Harnett High School and Coats-Erwin Elementary School where they will be safely kenneled.
Camp Lejeune | Fort Bragg
Camp Lejeune is currently closed to all non-essential personnel until Wednesday, meaning all classes on the base will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Marines and staff ordered to evacuate prior to the hurricane were told not to attempt a return to base any earlier than 7 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Camp Lejeune’s social media sites. It cited “widespread road closures” across the area, including major highways and secondary roads.
Fort Bragg’s campus is closed to everybody but emergency personnel through Monday. Classes at Bragg are canceled for Monday.