By Arden Igleheart
UT has canceled all campus operations after 4 p.m. today due to Hurricane Hermine’s intense rainfall and lightning. Normal operations will resume Friday at 8 a.m.
The university is particularly concerned about the safety of commuting students, faculty, and staff, and advises them to leave campus at 4 or earlier if they can due to the high probability of roads flooding. The university discourages anyone from driving at night.
For residential students, the university advises them to pay attention to the THOR GUARD alarm system, and to seek shelter if they hear sirens. Fifteen-second horn blasts mean to seek cover, and three, five-second horn blasts mean all clear.
“Lightning is a big problem,” said Eric Cardenas, director of public information. “And certainly some of these storms can spin off tornadoes, so that’s a matter of being aware, checking the website, your phone for text alerts. And it’s probably a good day to be in your dorm studying rather than out and around or walking in downtown.”
Bryan Fowler, a freshman cybersecurity major, said he thinks the university should have cancelled operations earlier.
“I was checking the radar around 1 or 2 p.m. and that’s when we were hit with the worst of it so far,” Fowler said.
Ciarra Bianchi, a freshman chemistry major who is a residential student, thinks that the university made the right call in cancelling classes, although she is not particularly concerned about tornadoes.
“It’s definitely scary, but I feel like they say that all the time, just to be careful,” Bianchi said, speaking about tornado warnings. She said the THOR GUARD does make her feel safer and she would seek cover if she heard a siren.
Fowler says he was playing a volleyball game by McKay when he heard the THOR GUARD siren. He and the group continued their game despite the warning.
“There are definitely some people who really take it to heart, which is great,” Fowler said, speaking of the sirens. “I wish I was one of them.”
Students, faculty, and staff who have not already done so can sign up for text alerts from campus safety on SpartanWeb.
Stay with the Minaret for updates on this story.
Arden Igleheart can be reached at Arden.Igleheart@theminaretonline.com