Hurricane Ian sweeps through North Carolina, Wake Forest

The post-tropical cyclone caused classes to be canceled on Friday, Sept. 30


Virginia Noone

A tree in front of Benson University Center leans sideways on Friday morning after strong winds knocked it over.

Christa Dutton and Hope Zhu

Hurricane Ian — which downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by the time it reached the Triad — brought heavy rains and winds to Winston-Salem on Friday, causing Wake Forest classes to cancel and campus to close. 

A Wake Alert was sent shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Friday announcing that undergraduate and graduate classes would be canceled — except for the School of Law, which moved classes online. The email alert also announced that the Reynolda, Wake Downtown and Brookstown campuses would be closed to visitors beginning at noon Friday until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 to minimize travel to and from campus. 

The storm also caused damage around campus. Strong winds knocked over trees outside Taylor Residence Hall and Benson University Center. Limbs and branches were scattered all over campus on Saturday morning. 

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that almost 15,000 Duke Energy customers in Forsyth County lost power at around 9:30 p.m. Friday night. Residents of Deacon Place said they experienced a power outage for a few seconds on Friday and then the WiFi cut off but was restored within an hour. 

“My internet went off and on a couple of times, so it was difficult doing the work that I wanted to complete,” junior Sara Hagiwara, who lives in Deacon Place, said. “Other than that, it wasn’t too much of a disruption.” 

Senior Rebecca Getu also said some of her friends faced minor power outage issues. She also expressed uncertainty about canceling classes on Friday.

“It was unexpected,” Getu said. “I’m not sure how this is going to affect the semester going forward in terms of being behind, but I think this is the best decision the university could come up with.”

Students living on campus were rather less affected by the hurricane. Most residence halls were not disturbed.

“Our power and heating is fine,” sophomore Alison LaPat, who lived in Kitchen Residence Hall, said. “Everyone I know is okay.”

Though not directly impacted by the storm, LaPat spoke about apprehension for other students who might have family in hurricane’s path.

“I’ve seen all the videos of people lived near Tampa Lake whose houses were underwater,” Lapat said. “I don’t have any immediate family down there, but I hope everyone’s okay.”

The inclement weather also caused events to be postponed. The World Cultural Festival, hosted by the Intercultural Center, that was scheduled for Friday was postponed to an unannounced date. 

Additionally, Wake Forest field hockey had to adjust their weekend games. Their matchup against Duke was moved from Friday at 2 p.m. to Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. Their game against Davidson which was scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. was rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. 

The weather thus far in Week 7 of the semester has been cold, but clear.