Several colleges along Georgia’s coast are closing as they prepare for wet, stormy weather ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
The Category 5 hurricane, which has maximum sustained winds of 180 mph, is predicted to make landfall in the Carolinas by midweek and move along the East Coast. Forecasts predict major impact for the northern Bahamas, which are right in the path of the massive storm. Channel 2 Action News reported the hurricane is the strongest in modern record to hit the northwest Bahamas, and says catastrophic conditions are expected there.
11pm Update -- No change to the forecast track. #Dorian remains a powerful Cat. 4 & is moving closer to the Bahamas. The center of the track keeps it just off the FL, GA, SC, NC coasts, meaning coastal flooding, heavy rain, storm surge remain concerns. pic.twitter.com/GbvzkxdAFR
The storm is projected to affect Georgia’s coast as a Category 2 hurricane, Channel 2 reported. That could mean flooding, storm surge, heavy rain and beach erosion in the coastal part of the state.
In a statement, the College of Coastal Georgia announced it will cancel classes and suspend non-essential operations in Brunswick and Camden on Tuesday. Residence halls will stay open and food services and campus police will continue to operate, the college said.
“The College’s top priority is the safety of its campus community, and we are continuing to communicate with local and state agencies while closely monitoring the development of Hurricane Dorian’s progress,” the college said.
A statement from Savannah State University said the school will close student housing Monday at 6 p.m. and will cancel classes on campus Tuesday "out of an abundance of caution."
“Hurricane Dorian‘s path remains uncertain, but it is expected that Savannah’s coastal area will experience tropical-storm-force winds and substantial rainfall, which could lead to campus flooding and power outages,” the statement said.
Students were directed to make immediate plans to leave the campus or to make contact with a residence hall director for help.
Savannah College of Art and Design closed the campus immediately due to the magnitude of the storm and postponed fall orientation and move-in until at least Sept. 9. Fall quarter classes won't start until at least Sept. 11, the college said.
Mercer University said it’s closing its School of Medicine, located in Savannah, on Tuesday and Wednesday due to a mandatory evacuation of Chatham County.
Georgia Southern University, which has a campus in Savannah, has canceled classes Tuesday and Wednesday, state officials said Monday. Dining services will be open Tuesday.
Augusta University will begin receiving evacuees, a University System of Georgia spokeswoman said Monday.
For more on Hurricane Dorian's path or for local weather forecasts, read here or here.