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  • Story by Caroline Elswick

Dorian’s impact on CCU

Hurricane Dorian approached the coast of South Carolina on Thursday as a Category 2 storm.

Dorian had an eventful beginning, with dozens of tornado warnings early Thursday morning. Two tornadoes were confirmed, one in North Myrtle Beach, and one off of 501 in Carolina Forest. More tornadoes have been reported, but not confirmed.

Thursday morning also brought another scary reality: overnight, Dorian had strengthened again from a Category 2 to a Category 3 hurricane. By the time the Grand Strand felt its impact, it was back down to a Category 2.

During the storm, the National Weather Service reported winds of around 60 mph in the area.

Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina University’s campus closed Tuesday for an evacuation, telling students who left for Labor Day not to come back.

CCU has been criticized for being the first to make the decision, but it would have been closed Tuesday either way.

Carissa Medeiros is the Director of Emergency Management at Coastal.

“Interim Provost Ennis made the decision to initiate the academic continuity plan as soon as we received notification of the Governor’s executive order closing schools and state offices in Horry and Georgetown counties in response to Hurricane Dorian,” said Medeiros.

After missing three weeks of school last year for Hurricane Florence, CCU had a new academic continuity plan in place, hoping to encourage online learning if the school was closed.

Sheri Restauri is the Director of the Office of Online Learning and was able to tell us how they kept Moodle going and intergraded online working for the week.

“Through collaboration with the developers in ITS, as the campus was closing to prepare for Hurricane Dorian, the Moodle 2019 server instance was able to successfully connect all campus faculty and course sections with their pre-made Moodle course shells, a step that previously required a manual faculty course request step and slowed down both faculty- and student-access to their digital content.”

Sophie Sumpter is a senior Public Health major at CCU.

“I had a few assignments to do and felt more prepared to get back into the swing of things than I did last year,” said Sumpter.

Despite the tornadoes, perhaps the most notable event of the hurricane was the now famous red Jeep which drove into the ocean Thursday morning. The story was so big, and such a meme, that it was even covered by the New York Times.

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