Archive: Tropical Storm Michael Update #3 October 10, 2018, at 11:45 p.m.

Jacksonville University's Emergency Preparedness Team is continuing to monitor Hurricane Michael.

Changes since our last update

During the night, Hurricane Michael became a category 4 hurricane. Here in Jacksonville, although we’re concerned for our friends in the path of the storm, we count ourselves fortunate that little else has changed. The predicted path of the storm has remained consistent, and the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts that Michael will make landfall in the western part of the state of Florida (the panhandle). From there, it will move northeast into southwestern and central Georgia.

The predicted path of the storm takes Michael far enough away from Jacksonville that we aren’t under Tropical Storm advisories. There are no Hurricane or Tropical Storm Watches or Warnings active in Duval County (where Jacksonville is located) or in any of the adjacent counties.

Are classes cancelled?

Out of an abundance of caution, and especially in consideration of the members of our JU community who commute, the university will close at 3:00 p.m. today (Wednesday). All classes and outdoor events have been cancelled for Wednesday afternoon and evening. This includes both our main campus and JU Downtown.

Campus will resume normal activity at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. Please monitor your email for updates in case we determine tomorrow morning that campus needs to remain closed for a longer period of time.

Riverview Dining Hall and Waves will be open as usual tonight for students to eat dinner, but all other dining options will close at 3:00 p.m.

Student athletes, please contact your coaches for specific information and instructions.

We encourage everyone to exercise caution when moving around campus and throughout the city, just as you would during any other severe weather day. If you haven’t already, please familiarize yourself with tornado, flash flooding, and storm safety tips.

Weather forecast

Wind

At the height of the storm (NWS predicts after 7:00 p.m. for us locally), we can expect winds of 25-30 miles per hour with gusts of about 50 miles per hour, speeds consistent with a tropical depression. For reference, the city of Jacksonville doesn’t close bridges until sustained winds at the top of the span (the highest point on the bridge) exceed 40 miles per hour.

Rain

The NWS predicts that we will see about two inches of rain. Our local bodies of water are in good shape to absorb that rainfall, but some parts of the city that are prone to flooding (San Marco, Riverside, etc.) may experience localized flooding. This is common even in a typical summer storm, and we ask you to remember to avoid standing water and exercise basic flood safety.

Tornado possibility

We will most likely be under a Tornado Watch this afternoon and through the night. Remember, a Tornado Watch means that conditions will be “favorable” for tornado development. It does not mean that a tornado is imminent.

The NWS has indicated that Jacksonville will be at a slightly increased risk of tornados. We encourage everyone to charge their phones, turn off any ‘Do Not Disturb’ functionality, and turn up the volume so that they’ll hear any emergency alerts that would be sent via text message.

When will this happen? How long will this last?

We will start seeing more rain and wind around lunchtime today. The greatest impacts we’re likely to experience will probably occur after dinner and during the night. By tomorrow afternoon, skies should be clearing.

Further communications

Your Emergency Preparedness Team will continue to monitor Michael, and we remain in close communication with the NWS and the City of Jacksonville. If anything changes, we will communicate by email, social media, and on the JU website.

In the event of an emergency, notifications and alerts will be broadcast immediately through a combination of the following communication channels: