UMES hurricane alert - Aug. 28 - 9 a.m.

  • Thursday, August 25, 2011

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011 - 9 a.m.) - UMES students who spent Saturday night in an on-campus shelter returned to their dormitories and apartments shortly after sunrise Sunday when university officials determined the worst of Hurricane Irene had passed the region.

    "They were ready to go," said Ronnie Holden, vice president for administrative affairs, who with dozens of colleagues spent Saturday night on campus.

    About 300 students who already had moved onto campus and apartments adjacent to campus last week were ordered to evacuate their housing Saturday morning as a precaution in anticipation of the storm's arrival.

    "Everything went according to plan," Holden said. "A lot of them thought it was an adventure."

    Classes for undergraduates begin Wednesday, and sophomores, juniors and seniors had been told they could move into on-campus housing Sunday. The campus is open, but university officials are asking students arriving for the start of classes this week to wait until Monday before checking into dormitories.

    Nicholas Blanchard, dean of UMES' School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, said Sunday that all graduate students in pharmacy should report to  classes Monday as scheduled.

    A make-up orientation session for freshmen will be held Monday morning as well. Anthony Jenkins, the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, estimated about 120 freshmen opted not to travel to campus Friday, when orientation had been scheduled.

    Aside from a 75-minute midday power outage Saturday that also affected some areas of Princess Anne, the UMES campus weathered the slow-moving storm overnight without major incident.

    Winds from the backside of the storm continued to whip rain Sunday morning in bursts just as it did Saturday afternoon, stripping trees of leaves and knocking down dead branches. Three large trees adjacent to the Somerset-Harford hall complex on the historic Academic Oval each lost a major branch.

    Overnight, however, there appeared to be no problems with electricity.

    In fact, Holden noted that students had plenty of (electric-powered) entertainment options: movies, videos and games to keep them occupied.

    And aside from standing water in low-lying areas of campus, a branch of the Manokin River that runs alongside campus had not caused any flooding problems by early Sunday morning. At one point late Saturday afternoon, the ponds in front of the Student Services Center, which was serving as the evacuation shelter, had whitecaps.

    Meanwhile, UMES personnel who make up the emergency response team were continuing to monitor buildings to assess whether any were experiencing leaks from water damage.

    Holden, a long-time UMES administrator who oversaw storm response, said the university's emergency plan was executed flawlessly, and he credited "all the volunteers who made it work. Thank you."

    Keep track of the latest developments by checking this web site or follow us on Facebook.


    PRINCESS ANNE, MD. - (Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 - 3 p.m.) - An estimated 300 University of Maryland Eastern Shore students were safely relocated Saturday to an on-campus shelter in the Student Services Center well ahead of Hurricane Irene's arrival.

    Students who had moved into dorms early as well as those living in adjoining apartment complexes complied with a mandatory evacuation notice issued by the UMES Office of Residence Life.

    In addition to the usual staffing on the weekends when classes are in session, an estimated 50 additional UMES personnel were on campus monitoring conditions and in position to help should an emergency arise.

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