Five UNC campuses were affected by Hurricane Matthew, including East Carolina University and UNC Pembroke, which remain closed more than a week after the storm struck.
The two universities suspended operations because of nearby flooding that prevented students and most staff from getting to the campuses. ECU informed students not to return until further notice after fall break, though several hundred remained on campus or moved onto campus from damaged apartments in Greenville.
UNCP had also been on fall break but lost power and water after the storm in hard-hit Robeson County. UNCP became a staging area for federal emergency management officials and rescue teams. The UNCP students who could not leave campus received help from campus police, who delivered meals.
Also affected were Elizabeth City State University, which was closed Monday; Fayetteville State University, which closed for three days before fall break on Thursday and Friday; and UNC Wilmington, which resumed classes Wednesday. The campuses sustained some minor flooding and tree damage. A tree fell on the home of ECSU Chancellor Thomas Conway, and heating and air conditioning equipment was damaged at UNCW.
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Several others not affected by the flood stepped up to help. N.C. Central University pitched in with food service assistance for students at UNCP, and N.C. State University also played a support role to help other campuses.
“Damage assessments are under way,” UNC President Margaret Spellings said Friday. “This is going to be a long journey.”
There is no date yet for ECU and UNCP to reopen, but Spellings said she hoped it would be soon.
The system has set up an account as part of the university’s foundation for contributions for relief on the campuses.