Hurricane Florence’s heavy rains and winds have had a tremendous impact North Carolina and Harnett County. As of Saturday morning, the main campus of Campbell University sustained minor damage because of the storm, but the campus is in good shape overall and has power. The University’s grounds and facilities crews are hard at work addressing any damage to buildings.
Marshbanks Dining Hall is open to students today and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Nearly 300 residential students have remained on campus through the storm in the University’s 11 residence halls and on-campus apartments. Those students are asked to use caution when walking outside on campus, as strong winds persist (a tornado watch is in effect until 5 p.m. today).
The University leadership is evaluating the conditions on campus and the potential road hazards for students and employees returning to campus. A decision has not yet been made regarding classes and operations for Monday, but it will be forthcoming over the weekend based on the information from emergency officials associated with Harnett County and the State of North Carolina.
Any updates regarding Monday’s schedule will be posted immediately to Campbell’s website and social media pages.
Harnett County emergency officials have asked motorists to stay off the roads to allow utility and emergency services personnel access to deal with emergency issues across the county. Several roads have been closed because of high water.
The county has declared a mandatory evacuation along the Lower Little River near the Cumberland County line (approximately 15 miles from campus). The Lower Little River is expected to reach flood stage sometime after 2 a.m. Sunday and will continue to rise until it crests.
The river is expected to crest at 35 feet, 17 feet above its flood stage and more than 6 feet over its record level of 29 feet from Hurricane Matthew. Emergency responders are currently going door-to-door in the affected areas to advise residents of the mandatory evacuation. If residents are not at home, they are leaving evacuation notices at the door.
County officials believe the impact of this record flooding could be devastating and want to alert residents that if they do not evacuate, emergency responders may not have the resources available to provide assistance.
In an effort to accommodate evacuees who do not have another place to go, Harnett County will open Western Harnett High School as an emergency shelter at noon today. Evacuees may also go to shelters at Overhills High School at 2495 Ray Road, Spring Lake, or Coats-Erwin Middle School at 2833 N.C. 55, Dunn.