Brandeis closed as Hurricane Sandy approaches
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2012 22:10
With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast, due to make its way to Long Island and southern New England early Monday, Brandeis has cancelled Monday classes and events and made preparations for the storm’s impact on campus. Dining halls will remain open on their usual schedules.
University President Frederick Lawrence announced in an email to the Brandeis community at 7:23 Sunday night that “classes and other scheduled events on campus” taking place on Monday would be cancelled. Lawrence cited Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s request that the state’s colleges and universities cancel activities in his decision.
In an email sent to the student body on Saturday, Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer wrote that “University staff will be working over the weekend to minimize impact—bringing inside items that could get wind blown, sandbagging exterior doorways that have a history of water build up etc.” Sawyer mentioned that the biggest concern is flooding and the potential temporary loss of power, although he called the latter possibility “pretty remote.”
Lawrence sent a similar email to the Brandeis community today, warning of the potential effects of the hurricane and encouraging all to “prepare for the storm and take precautions to ensure your safety,” including charging phones and portable devices, obtaining a flashlight and stocking up on batteries, and checking that windows are securely closed.
On Saturday, a day before his recommendation that colleges and universities cancel classes, Gov. Patrick declared a state of emergency, according to the Boston Herald and Globe. “While we continue to hope for the best, we’re preparing for the worst,” he said.
According to the Herald, Boston public schools were among those of coastal cities that cancelled classes for tomorrow, in anticipation of the storm.
As of this evening, Brandeis’ neighboring Bentley University cancelled Monday classes and announced the closure of all administrative and academic offices on Monday. In light of the Governor’s declaration and recent forecasts, “the University has decided to err on the side of safety and close the University tomorrow,” said a statement posted on the Bentley website.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority plans to operate on normal subway, bus, and commuter rail schedules throughout the storm, but has suspended commuter boat services on Monday until further notice, according to the organization’s website. The MBTA has “mobilized and has pre-positioned equipment to prepare for the impacts of the storm,” said the website.
New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey transit systems were due to start closing this afternoon, according to reports from Reuters.
The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the entire Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastlines, including Boston and the surrounding communities. The warning will be in effect from 6 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.
According to the most recent NWS public advisory bulletin, issued at 5 p.m. Sunday, hurricane-force winds and heavy rain are expected along the eastern coast from Virginia as far north as Chatham, Mass. Tropical storm-force winds are forecast to reach areas north of Chatham, extending as far as the Merrimack River.
The storm surge could cause flooding of up to 11 feet in Long Island and New York Harbor, according to the bulletin, and up to four feet along the coast from Cape Cod to the Massachusetts—New Hampshire border. Rainfall is expected to total four to eight inches in the Mid-Atlantic, and only one to three inches in New England.