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Hurricane Ian

Last updated September 30, 2022

Updated 9/30/2022 8 p.m.

Dear Eckerd Community,

We will begin to welcome students back to campus tomorrow and throughout the weekend. Classes will resume Monday. If conditions at your evacuation location will delay your return to campus, please contact tropicalassistance@eckerd.edu. Students also should contact their professors.

Please be careful as you move around as debris removal on walkways and roads is ongoing; avoid areas with caution tape or otherwise marked as hazards. There are three areas currently closed because of hazards:

  • The road that leads to West Lodge past the CEC cafeteria is closed to traffic and pedestrians at this time.
  • The West Parking Lot has a barricaded area because of a leaning parking light.
  • The sidewalk between Delta and Epsilon residence halls is closed because of a tree branch leaning on power lines.

Avoid these areas until the barricades have been removed.

Damage Reports

If faculty and staff have additional reports of damage in their workspaces, they should take photos, and report any damages using this form. If students find any damages in rooms, please report the issue by filling out this form.

Mail Services

Mail Services re-opens Monday. Staff is expecting a large volume of mail and packages to be delivered early next week. Students, faculty and staff are asked not to contact Mail Services to verify if a package has been received. People with processed deliveries will receive an email confirming the package is ready for pickup.

Bookstore

The Bookstore will open at 9 a.m. Monday.

Support Services

Those who would like support from the Eckerd College Counseling Center, Outreach Services and the Center for Spiritual Life can learn more about accessing services.

Library

The Library reopens tomorrow from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. It will resume normal hours on Monday.

Pool 

The Pool will remain closed until Monday.

Waterfront 

The Waterfront will reopen 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team thanks you for your diligence and resilience in the unpredictable circumstance. The College returns to normal operations on Monday. Any changes will be communicated via the College’s emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical.


 

Updated 9/30/2022 11:45 a.m.

Dear Eckerd Community,

Today we grieve the loss of life, homes, businesses, and communities in the days after this catastrophic storm, Hurricane Ian. Viewing the images of flooding, wind damage, downed bridges, and people escaping danger has been traumatic for almost all of us. We are managing our anxiety and fear, and for some, dealing with significant loss. As you prepare to return to campus, we would like to offer the support of Eckerd College Counseling Services, Student Outreach & Support (SOS), and Religious Life at Eckerd. College counselors, chaplains, and other campus resources are available for support during this difficult time. We will be checking our email regularly and returning to campus over the next few days. If you have difficulty reaching us, you may also contact Campus Safety at 727.864.8260.

We will assist one another over the coming days and weeks and cope with this difficult event with resiliency and hope. There are many spiritual and therapeutic resources available to you. Please let us know if you, or someone you know, is having an especially hard time following the hurricane passing through Florida. We are here to provide support.

For faculty and staff, free and confidential counseling is also available through Charles Nechtem by calling 1.800.531.0200. Please consider utilizing this great resource as needed.

If you have any questions or need more information please feel free to contact Counseling Services, Student Outreach & Support (SOS), Human Resources, or Religious Life at Eckerd.

Kate Daigle
Director of Counseling Services
727.864.8248
counseling@eckerd.edu

Ryan Hiller
Director of Student Outreach & Support
727.864.8407
outreach@eckerd.edu

Liana Hemingway
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
727.864.8332
hr@eckerd.edu

Doug McMahon
Director of Religious Life and Chaplain
727.864.8587
chaplains@eckerd.edu


 

Updated 9/29/2022 8:30 p.m.

Dear Members of the Eckerd Community,

I hope that you and your loved ones have remained safe during Hurricane Ian. The devastating impact of the storm on the Charlotte Harbor area reminds us of the vulnerability of our beautiful coastal campus while the changes in the storm’s trajectory in recent days reinforce our need to remain vigilant as tropical systems threaten our region. Our hearts go out to our family members, friends, and neighbors to the south, whose homes, businesses, and lives have been so terribly impacted by this storm. In the coming days, we will have a better sense of the ways in which our campus community can assist those most severely affected.

As noted in the communication from our Emergency Management team this morning, the post-storm assessment team, led by Adam Colby, began its work today to determine how our campus fared during the storm. I was able to join them on campus this afternoon and receive a tour of campus and a briefing.  I am happy to report that although there is much clean-up to complete, damage to the campus is minimal. For that reason, we will welcome students back to campus on Saturday, October 1, beginning at 11 a.m. Bon Appetit will be prepared to serve lunch in the main cafeteria, and students will have access to their residence halls. Classes and normal College operations will resume on Monday, October 3. Please be mindful of the current location and future track of Hurricane Ian as you plan your return.  If conditions at your evacuation location will delay your return to campus, please contact tropicalassistance@eckerd.edu. Students also should contact their professors.

Throughout this challenging week, we have seen the Eckerd community at its best, pulling together to ensure an orderly and safe evacuation and the careful preparation of campus as Hurricane Ian approached.  Examples of the Triton spirit of mutual support and service abounded: students heeding with great responsiveness the directions of our Emergency Management team, students sharing rides with one another as they evacuated, Eckerd families opening their doors to their student’s classmates in need of accommodations during the evacuation, staff and faculty assisting one another and their neighbors in preparing their homes for the storm, and the Campus Safety team and Grounds staff remaining positioned in the area to begin the inspection and preparation of campus once the storm passed.  It is this spirit that will continue to propel us forward during the days ahead.

I am so very grateful for each of you and deeply proud of our Eckerd Community.  I look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

Warm regards,

Jim

James J. Annarelli, Ph.D.

Interim President

Eckerd College


 

Updated 9/29/2022 9 a.m.

Dear Eckerd Community,

Hurricane Ian—a strong Category 4 storm—made landfall near Punta Gorda Wednesday morning and brought wind gusts of up to 155 miles per hour ashore in Southwestern Florida. Student Affairs and Human Resources staff worked throughout Wednesday to make contact with students, faculty and staff who relocated to the most affected areas.

Campus remains closed until we receive an “all clear” message from our recovery team. Today, staff, faculty, and students will receive a check-in message from the emergency notification system. Please answer promptly.

Supervisors—including collegial chairs—are asked to activate their phone trees, check on the status of faculty and staff members and report findings to their Vice President. Vice Presidents will share concerns with Assistant Vice President of Operations and Emergency Management Adam Colby.

As we move into the recovery phase, please remember:

  • If the storm has moved past your area, remain indoors until your local authorities have indicated it is safe to go outside.
  • Avoid puddles or moving water. It only takes six inches to sweep you off your feet and one foot to lift a car.
  • Do not attempt to handle downed power lines.
  • Place generators outside in a safe location. Operating generators indoors can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Post-storm recovery crews have returned to campus to begin damage assessment. As a part of their hurricane planning, our faculty have plans in place to continue the academic program and keep students on track as campus is prepared for our return. Faculty will be in touch with students about course requirements and assignments during their absence from campus.

Any changes will be communicated via the College’s emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical. The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team continues to meet regularly. Our next storm update is planned for Friday.


 

Updated 9/28/2022 9 a.m.

Eckerd Community:

Tropical storm force winds and heavy rains have arrived in Pinellas County and are expected to intensify later this afternoon. Hurricane Ian’s eye is expected to make landfall in the Punta Gorda/Fort Myers area as a possible Category 4 storm. Forecasters estimate our area may receive more than 20 inches of rain.

Remember: Do not leave your sheltering space until an all-clear has been issued by local authorities, and do not return to campus until the College has assessed campus after the storm and announced that it is safe to return.

For those who have taken shelter in cities that will be affected by the storm, Pinellas County reminds us to:

  • Charge your phone; remember, texts work when cell service doesn’t.
  • Decide on one point of contact (out of town preferably) to communicate with to save on power; tell people to get updates from that person. Make sure your friends and family understand you will likely lose connection.
  • Stay calm. Keep kids and pets calm. Talk to your children about what will happen—be clear and honest, but not scary—warn them that electronics may not work.
  • Close interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
  • If power goes out, use a weather radio for alerts. For light, use flashlights, battery-operated lanterns or chemical light sticks.
  • Stay indoors and stay calm. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm and winds may pick up again.
  • Pinellas County may experience 4-6 feet of storm surge as the storm moves north which may occur after hurricane force winds have subsided. Do not assume that the danger has passed.
  • Stay in your home until officials state that it is safe.

After the storm, staff, faculty, and students will receive a check-in message from the emergency notification system. Please answer promptly.

Any changes will be communicated via emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical. Facebook often issues “safety checks” during natural disasters, which can be an effective way of letting family and friends know you are safe. The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team continues to meet regularly. Our next storm update is planned for Thursday.


 

Updated 9/27/2022 6:15 p.m.

Pinellas County has issued a shelter-in-place order for everyone remaining in the county beginning at midnight. Please be in your home or evacuation location by then. Thank you to everyone who has provided their evacuation location in the student and employee forms. If you have not yet done so, please let us know where you intend to shelter during the storm.

The track of Hurricane Ian continues to shift eastward decreasing the storm surge estimate in the Tampa Bay area to 4- to 6-feet above sea level, but significantly increasing the estimate of flooding rain—up to 20 inches in some areas—and tornadoes. Sustained tropical storm force winds could arrive in Pinellas County as early as 2 a.m., Wednesday. This system is expected to hover over our area for more than 24 hours. Make sure you are prepared with food and supplies to sustain you through possible power outages and impassible roadways. Watch for downed power lines, and never attempt to handle or drive over one.

Communication may decrease or pause as the storm passes through the county. After the storm, staff, faculty, and students will receive a check-in message from the emergency notification system. Please answer promptly. The Eckerd College Emergency Management team will assess the campus post-storm and provide an update on the campus’s status.

Any communications will be issued via the emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical.


 

Updated 9/27/2022 9:30 a.m.

Dear Eckerd Community,

Thank you for all your efforts in helping us to secure campus ahead of the possible impacts of Hurricane Ian, which we expect to make landfall as a major hurricane. As a reminder, classes for Tuesday have been canceled and campus will remain closed until the College can assess any damage and provide a timeline for safe return.

Our area is now under a Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Warning until further notice. Pinellas County has issued a mandatory evacuation notice for Zones A through C. Please follow county orders, and if evacuation is part of your plan, go as soon as possible.

Although the track has shifted east, there is significant disagreement in the models after 36 hours. The location of landfall will determine the worst impacts for our area. All of the Tampa Bay surrounding counties need to be prepared for the worst potential impacts. The current impacts expected for our region are:

  • Tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive in Pinellas County between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Wednesday.
  • The current track has the storm surge potential between 5 to 10 feet.
  • Rainfall is estimated to be between 15 and 20 inches across Tampa Bay.

For those who haven’t yet filled out the appropriate Evacuation Location Form—student or employee—please do so.

If you are sheltering in areas in the path of Hurricane Ian, remember to stay indoors away from windows during the storm. After the storm, staff, faculty, and students will receive a check-in message from the emergency notification system. Please answer promptly.

Any changes will be communicated via emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical. The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team continues to meet regularly. Our next storm update is planned for Wednesday.


 

Updated 9/26/2022 3:00 p.m.

Dear members of the Eckerd Community,

As my wife, Anna, and I walked through the residential areas of campus yesterday afternoon, I was reminded of the strength, resiliency, and resolve of our community.  I was particularly struck by the planfulness and focus of the students that we encountered and by their thoughtful response to the announcement of the closure of campus in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Ian.

Thank you to all students, faculty, staff, and ASPEC members for your efforts to ensure the safety of our campus community and to prepare our campus as Hurricane Ian approaches.  We are especially grateful for the leadership of Adam Colby and our Emergency Management Team, for the efforts of Student Life staff to ensure that students are supported as the process of leaving campus unfolds, for faculty who are working diligently to implement their hurricane plans within each of their courses, and for staff who are carefully preparing our campus offices, facilities, and grounds.

Before campus closes at 5 p.m. today, and our focus shifts to our safety and that of our families, I offer a few final reminders to you:

  • Classes: Classes will continue while we are away from our campus. Students should be alert to communications from professors about coursework and expectations. Despite the circumstances, our goal is for students to continue progress on their studies.
  • Location: Those who have not yet reported their location as they wait out the storm should use the appropriate form for employees or students.
  • County guidance: Please heed the warnings and recommendations of emergency managers in the counties in which you live or will wait out the storm.
  • Information: Updates concerning College conditions and operations will be sent through the College’s emergency notification system and posted on www.eckerd.edu/tropical.
  • Returning to campus: Faculty, staff and students should not return to campus until an “all-clear” is issued. Post-storm assessment and recovery will take time, and safety is paramount.

Despite the challenges and uncertainties of the current situation, we remain united in our commitment to one another and to our beloved College. I wish you and your loved ones the very best in the days ahead.

Warm regards,

Jim

James J. Annarelli, Ph.D.

Interim President

Eckerd College


 

Updated 9/25/2022 2:45 p.m.

In view of the current track of Tropical Storm Ian and in the interest of the safety of our community, we are enacting our plan for campus closure. Students will meet with resident advisors to discuss travel plans, and those without plans will be assisted by Student Affairs staff. Classes are canceled beginning tomorrow. All students should take their course materials with them and must be out of their residence halls by 3 p.m. Monday. Campus will officially close at 5 p.m. Monday. For those who have not yet filled out the appropriate Evacuation Location Form— student or employee—please do so. Students and family members with remaining questions and concerns about student travel plans may speak with representatives from Student Affairs, today until 7 p.m. and tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 727.864.8421, or write to tropicalassistance@eckerd.edu.

The College remains just outside of the 3-day cone but meteorologists caution that the storm remains unpredictable. The current track projects landfall somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and Fort Myers. At this point, we expect to feel the most severe impacts, including heavy rain and storm surge, Wednesday and Thursday.

Students, faculty and staff planning to drive out-of-state may see heavy traffic and delays on Interstates 75 and 95. Please refer to Florida 511 and the Waze app for detailed and up-to-date traffic information.

Staff should report for work as scheduled on Monday. Faculty and staff members and students living off campus should check their evacuation zones and stay abreast of orders and information from Pinellas County Emergency Management. They should continue to prepare their homes, offices and other work areas for the closure. All employees should contact their supervisor with questions; employees also should consult with their supervisor about whether they will be required to work remotely beginning Tuesday, Sept. 27.

We will continue to communicate via the emergency notification system and post updates on eckerd.edu/tropical.


 

Updated 9/24/2022 6:50 p.m.

National Hurricane Center models of Tropical Storm Ian’s potential track have continued to shift west. More clarity is expected in the next 24 hours. The College’s Emergency Management Team continues to monitor these developments. Facilities and Waterfront staff will continue to enact their preparedness plans through the rest of the weekend. Eckerd College remains open and fully operational.

We are asking students, faculty and staff to review the published hurricane plans and make preparations to implement your individual plan based on those guidelines. If necessary, students should expect to receive a communication from their Resident Advisors about a Sunday evening house meeting.

The next update will be communicated Sunday afternoon via the College’s emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical.


 

Updated: 9/24/2022 9:30 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded the system in the Caribbean to Tropical Storm Ian and its impacts are still expected to affect portions of Florida. There have been significant shifts in its track, and we expect more shifts in the next 48 hours. The College’s Emergency Management Team will be monitoring these developments. Eckerd College remains open and fully operational.

Facilities and Waterfront staff have begun early preparations today in an abundance of caution. We are reminding students, faculty and staff to review the published hurricane plans and make preparations to implement your individual plan based on those guidelines.

The next update will be communicated this evening via the College’s emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical.


 

Updated: 9/23/2022 12:20 p.m.

The National Weather Service has placed Florida in the five-day cone of uncertainty for Tropical Depression 9, a system making its way through the Caribbean. The system is expected to intensify into a hurricane, but the potential path is uncertain. Eckerd College remains open and fully operational.

The College’s Emergency Management Team is closely monitoring the developments. It is still too early to tell what impacts, if any, Tropical Depression 9 will have on the St. Petersburg area, so at this time, we are asking students, faculty and staff to review the published hurricane plans and make preparations to implement your individual plan based on those guidelines.

Any changes to the College’s operations will be communicated via the College’s emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical.


 

Posted: 9/23/2022 8 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center has placed Florida in the five-day cone of uncertainty for Tropical Cyclone 9, a system making its way through the Caribbean. The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team (EMET) will be meeting later this morning. Additional information will be issued later today.