As the Gulf Coast experiences torrential rain and tropical storm Harvey dwells around the area, people further inland anxiously await the weather to come.
Harvey has been the cause of power outages, extensive flooding and at least fifteen deaths in Texas’ Gulf region.
Classes were cancelled at NSU’s Leesville campus Monday and Tuesday due to the potential for flooding. The Alexandria, Natchitoches and Shreveport campuses remain open, but NSU’s emergency preparedness team continues to monitor the weather.
“The safety and wellbeing of students and employees is the university’s highest priority,” NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio said.
President Trump approved Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Federal Emergency Declaration request Monday, meaning the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Louisiana additional assistance in the following parishes: Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermilion.
“President Trump and his administration executed swift and decisive action in approving our Federal Disaster Declaration,” Edwards said. “We are very grateful for the assistance and because this is an ongoing event, we continue to monitor the changing conditions of the storm and will move every available state and federal resource where they are needed most.”
The Weather Channel predicts Harvey will travel northeast across Louisiana during the next couple days with approximately 35 mph sustained winds.
But the storm’s winds do not pose the biggest threat; copious amounts of rain are of great concern.
“The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before,” according to the National Weather Service. “Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days.”
Senior music education major Jocelyn Cummons is currently living in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston.
“Thank God [the flood waters] didn’t get inside our house, but I’m pretty much trapped,” she said. “Even if we wanted to evacuate, we are pretty much surrounded.”
Students, faculty and staff who would like to be the first to know of weather-related school cancellations and other campus emergencies are encouraged to sign up for NSU’s Purple Alert notification system. Administrators use this system to notify individuals of safety hazards via email or text message. Recipients are urged to click the link in each alert to verify they are aware of the situation.
Visit emergencypreparedness.nsula.edu for more information on campus safety precautions and to sign up for Purple Alert.