Hurricane Michael Update: Campus Closed at Noon Wednesday and Reopens Friday Morning

Oct. 9, 2018

Update: Friday, 5:54 a.m.

Fort Valley State University is open for normal operations.

Update: Thursday, 9:56 a.m.

Fort Valley State University will open on time for normal operations and classes on Friday, October 12. Minor issues related to fallen trees and buildings are currently being addressed. We are very thankful to team members from emergency operations, campus safety, facilities, residence life, student life, academic affairs, and other areas for working through the storm to ensure that we can resume operations quickly.

Please be aware that crews are addressing safety issues on roadways across the state, and caution is advised when traveling today. Please give yourself as much time as possible if driving to campus and remain safe and vigilant. Do not attempt to pass through standing water and look out for downed power lines and other hazards. We want to see everyone safely return tomorrow.

Update: Wednesday, 5:18 p.m.

Light damage in front of Student Amenities building. Pole down. Be careful if walking in this area.

Update: Wednesday, 4:29 p.m.

FVSU Emergency Operations canceled second tornado alert. Area remains under tornado watch until 2 a.m.

Update: Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.

FVSU Emergency Operations issued second tornado alert due to local reporting.

Update: Wednesday, 3:49 p.m.

From the National Weather Service:
…THE TORNADO WARNING FOR SOUTHWESTERN PEACH AND SOUTH CENTRAL CRAWFORD COUNTIES IS CANCELLED… The cell which prompted the warning has weakened below severe limits, and no longer appears capable of producing a tornado. Therefore, the warning has been cancelled. However gusty winds and heavy rain are still possible with this shower. A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 2:00 AM EDT for central and west central Georgia.

From the National Weather Service:

Hurricane Michael has made landfall along the Florida panhandle as a major hurricane. It is now expected to accelerate northeast over southwest and into middle Georgia tonight. Please note that torrential rainfall, strong winds and possible tornadoes will will affect much of north and central Georgia this afternoon and this evening, well ahead of the arrival of the center of the storm. During the height of the storm, sustained winds of 45 to 55 mph will be possible with gusts up to 70 mph across portions of central Georgia, with the strongest winds roughly along and south of a line from Americus to Warner Robins and Eastman. Additional rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches are expected, with the potential for locally higher amounts. An elevated risk of localized flash flooding exists due to the heavy rain potential.

Update: Wednesday, 1:30 p.m.

Due to inclement weather associated with Hurricane Michael, FVSU closed at noon on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 and will reopen as normal for business and classes on Friday, October 12. All scheduled events and activities for Wednesday afternoon and Thursday are canceled.

  • Residence halls will remain open and meal plan service will continue to be provided, though service hours and locations may be modified. All students are urged to use caution when moving around residence halls and campus.
  • Students should charge their cell phones immediately and keep them charged in case there is a power loss.
  • All state vehicles and golf carts should be moved to HPE for safety.
  • The storm is predicted to be dangerous, with winds at or near hurricane force in Peach County. Travel across the state is dangerous, and students, faculty, and staff should be extremely cautious if decisions are made to travel.
  • Hurricanes like Michael often spawn tornadoes, which can cause loss of life. Please stay alert. Students in Wildcat Commons should immediately proceed to the first floor of their building if a tornado warning is issued and if it is safe to do so. Students in Ohio Hall should proceed to the basement. Do not use elevators.

Please continue to monitor and local weather for updates. Essential personnel must report to work during closure. Staff who are unsure if they are essential or with special circumstances should contact their supervisors.

Faculty, staff, and students should stay abreast of additional changes to campus status and emergency messages and instructions which may be issued based on emerging conditions.

Local weather:
Macon Telegraph
NBC 41 (Macon)

Dining Hall Hours of Operation:

At this time the main Dining Services facility will remain open, though service hours will be modified.

Breakfast 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM
Lunch: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Dinner: 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Brunch: 9:00 AM till 2:30 P.m.
Dinner: 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

Regular schedule

The Georgia Room will not open on Wednesday or Thursday and will reopen on Friday.

All retail locations (Chik-Fil-A, Slice of Life, Simply to Go) will on close Wednesday at 2:00 PM and will reopen Friday regular hours of operation.

State of Emergency

Note that Governor Nathan Deal has issued a “State of Emergency” declaration for 92 counties in Georgia, including Peach County. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to exercise serious caution when traveling around the state.

Read Governor Deal’s declaration here.

Resources and Information

Please note that the hurricane is a natural event and could change direction and intensity at any time. Please keep yourself updated about this storm and what you should do to remain safe.

Students from the impacted areas who need assistance should contact the Office of Student Affairs at (478) 825-6291.

More information can be found using the following resources:

  • Official information at Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency here.
  • Preparation recommendations at Ready Georgia here.
  • Up to date forecasts and resources from the National Weather Service here.
  • Storm tracking and forecasts from the Weather Channel here.
  • Weather forecasts for Fort Valley here.
  • FVSU Emergency Response Plan here.
  • FVSU Emergency Management webpage here.
  • FVSU Police Department (478-825-6211) here.
Hurricanes like Michael often spawn tornadoes, which can cause loss of life. Please stay alert.
Students in Wildcat Commons should immediately proceed to the first floor of their building if a tornado warning is issued if it is safe to do so. Students in Ohio Hall should proceed to the basement. Do not use elevators.
If a tornado is spotted, listen for portable horns and police vehicle horns.
Additional guidance:

During a “ Tornado Watch ”, (which means weather conditions favorable for development), be alert for non- continuous sounding of police vehicle or blowing horns.

a) Prop open vents and doors between classrooms and hallways.
b) Open all windows slightly.
c) Store portable equipment, breakable items, etc., inside building away from shelter areas.
d) Generally, buses may continue to operate;be watchful.

During a “Tornado Warning”,(means a tornado has been sighted and/ or has touched down on the ground), listen for continuous sounding of police vehicle or blowing horns.
a) Open and secure exterior glass doors; otherwise they may shatter and add to flying debris within the building. Leave outside doors closed.
b) Secure or store articles that may act as missiles indoors.
c) Buses should not operate. Transportation personnel should be instructed in tornado procedures. If a driver sees a tornado approaching, he/ she should:
1. Drive away from the tornado’s path at right angles, if possible.
2. Evacuate the bus and take shelter in a pre-designated building or other substantial building along the route.
3. Evacuate the bus and direct students to a ditch or hollow and have them lie down, hands over head. Students should be kept far enough from bus so it cannot turn over on them. (Take precautions to avoid flooded areas).
d)If there is sufficient time to take shelter:
1. Evacuate room quickly, quietly and orderly.
2. Check restrooms or nearby vacant rooms for students, staff and visitors.
3. Take personal belongings only if they are at a desk and will provide extra protection (large books, notebooks or coats may be held over head and shoulders).
4. Professors should take roll book and take attendance.
5. Once in a shelter, report missing students. (Directors and principal administrators should take similar accounting).
6. Take position for greatest safety by crouching on knees, head down, with hands placed at back of neck.
In multi-story buildings:
1. Use identified fallout shelters.
2. Use basement.
3. Use first-floor interior hallways.
4. Use restrooms or other enclosed small areas away from large glass areas and large open rooms.
In one-story buildings:
1.Use identified fallout shelters.
2.Use basement
3.Use first floor interior hallways.
4.Use restrooms or other enclosed small areas away from large glass areas or large open rooms.
If hallways are not suitable, use the inside wall of a room, or rooms on the opposite side of the corridor from which the storm is approaching. End rooms generally should not be used. In either one or multi-story buildings, restrooms are usually suited for small groups, especially if the room is generally located.
Auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria or other large rooms are least suitable as shelters. Free-span roofs will
usually be blown away from this type of room and the walls may collapse. Rooms having large glass areas
should not be used for shelters.