us on Facebook
/ August 25, 2011
A Hurricane Might Hit Us On Move-In Day (UPDATED)

You might be worrying about ominous, even apocalyptic reports of Hurricane Irene, a Category 3 juggernaut barreling straight toward New York. At this point, it’s still in the Bahamas, but after a quick jaunt through North Carolina’s Outer Banks, there is a distinct possibility that it could hit New York on Sunday.

Unfortunately, freshman move-in day is this Sunday, and as a result, NYU Housing is going to accommodate impending travel delays by [UPDATED – please see below] changing freshman move-in to Monday. If freshmen are in the New York area on Sunday, unfortunately they will not be able to move in until Monday. The following is a statement from John Beckman, Vice President of Public Affairs:

“NYU has been following reports about Hurricane Irene closely. Because of its predicted arrival in New York City on Sunday, NYU has changed Move-In Day — originally schedule for Sunday, Aug 28 — to Monday, Aug 29. We believe this is the best course for ensuring the safety of our new and returning students.  We have begun the process of notifying students and families, and alerting city agencies and neighbors to this change.”

Additionally, there will be an email sent out to students shortly, which is attached after the break.

Text of email:

“This is an important message to students in NYU Student Housing. We were looking forward to greeting many of you — and new students in particular — this coming Sunday, Aug 28. However, because of the predicted arrival of Hurricane Irene in New York City on Sunday, Aug 28, NYU has changed Move-In Day to Monday, Aug 29; while we regret that this may cause some inconvenience, we believe this is the course that will best ensure your safety. Students will not be allowed to move in before Monday, and should make appropriate adjustments in their travel schedules; services usually provided to students beginning Sunday will not start until Monday.
It is important that you monitor your email accounts for additional messages, including possible changes that may occur because of conditions, and re-scheduling of previously scheduled activities and events.If there is some extraordinary set of circumstances of which we should be aware, you may contact the Student Housing office at 212 998 4600. Please be aware, however, that we are predisposed not to make exceptions.In addition, events that were scheduled for Sunday in the Kimmel Center are canceled.We look forward to seeing you on Monday, Aug 29 instead of Sunday. There will be follow-up emails about rescheduled activities.We thank you for your understanding and forbearance. Be well, and travel safely.Sincerely,
Marc Wais, Vice President for Student Affairs
Jules Martin, Vice President for Public Safety”

Here’s a run-down of Welcome Week delays:

  • CAS will be sending freshmen an email around 5 PM tonight, as well as another one tomorrow, detailing the “shifts” to the Welcome Week schedule, which a representative has confirmed will be “precautionary.” No word on those shifts yet, but if you’re affected, keep your eyes on your email. We’ll try to update as we get more information.
  • A Stern rep expected delays, but was unable to give details. Expect an email.
  • Tisch, Steinhardt, and Gallatin did not know of any delays to their programming, but in the highly unlikely event that things do take a turn toward this, you’ll probably be contacted.

It is impossible to say how close to New York City Irene will end up — the Mid-Atlantic is pretty big, after all — but expect at least a dumptruckload of wind and rain. Mayor Bloomberg has stated he will wait until Friday afternoon to make an evacuation call, if it becomes clear that Irene is barreling straight toward us. NOAA estimates that the likelihood of tropical storm-force winds is around 40% at this time in New York (that’s the 50 MPH figure you’re hearing about), but the likelihood of anything approaching hurricane-strength presently lies at zero. Doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods — Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground has calmly assured residents, “I predict a 20% chance that New York City will experience a storm surge in excess of 8 feet that will over-top the flood walls in Manhattan and flood the subway system.” Thanks, Jeff.

We at NYU Local are from hurricane-prone areas, so you Nebraskans out there need not freak out — Irene will almost certainly weaken significantly, becoming something along the lines of a strong, windy rainstorm by the time it gets anywhere near us. Coastlines more southern should probably be worrying (example, residents of the Outer Banks, which are literally just piles of sand, are planning to evacuate), but don’t expect to be rafting up Sixth Avenue yet.

Safety caveat: New York City is low-lying, so avoid beaches and obvious places for storm surge (though we don’t know why you would go to the beach on a stormy day). If you’re curious about beaches or storm surges, or where those things are in New York, here’s a quick map of high-risk areas.

NYU Local will keep you updated if it starts to get rough.