Hurricane Florence Updates

Refer to this page for timely updates regarding Mary Baldwin’s plans and preparations for Hurricane Florence.

Weekend Student Activities

MBU Hurricane FAQs


Update: Sun., Sept. 16, 12:30 p.m.

While the remnants of Hurricane Florence continue to produce rain in our area, facility and grounds crews report no issues on the Mary Baldwin campus, thanks in large part to the work done last week in preparation for the storm.

As a reminder, classes and activities will resume Monday. The overall rain prediction is for 2 to 4 inches of precipitation to fall over the next three days, so grab your umbrellas and pull up your waterproof wellies!



Update: Fri., Sept. 14, 2:49 p.m.

First, let me say thanks for all your support and understanding as our campus community prepared for the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.

Students, do you have some free time today, since classes were cancelled? The Office of Student Engagement and other organizations across campus have planned events and activities to keep you engaged all weekend long.

That also means free food for your late-night cravings, like a french fry and chili bar tonight and pizza tomorrow night (both starting at 9 p.m.) in Hunt. Plus movie screenings, game tables, and more.

Check out all the things to do here, and make some plans!

Have a fun, safe, and cozy weekend on campus, and let’s send supportive thoughts to all who remain in Hurricane Florence’s path.


Return to top

Update: Thurs., Sept. 13, 12:30 p.m.

The latest forecast shows a change in track for Hurricane Florence, as the storm now appears to be shifting toward the south and west. This is good news for Staunton, and our home on the hill, as we can expect less rain and wind as previously expected.

While the storm no longer poses a severe threat to the area, there is still a chance for minor flooding, downed trees, and power outages. As a precaution, the university has decided to cancel classes for Friday and Saturday for the main campus as well as for regional centers. The university, however, will remain open, and all employees are expected to come to campus if it is reasonable and safe to do so. Please check with your supervisor if you have questions. Classes will continue to be held as scheduled at MBU’s Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences in Fishersville.

University staff members across multiple departments have been hard at work this week making sure that the campus is a safe place to ride out the storm. Residential students are encouraged to stay on campus, where the Office of Student Life is preparing an engaging schedule of events for students for Friday and throughout the weekend. More information about those offerings will be available soon.

In the meantime, the city of Staunton is also preparing for the storm, and plans to declare a local emergency at tonight’s city council meeting, which will allow the city’s emergency department to determine the use of materials, goods, services, and resource systems.

We will continue to monitor Florence through the National Hurricane Center and, as always, will communicate any updates through email, social media, on our website, and, if necessary, BAM. (Again, please make sure you are signed up for this important service and have included your mobile phone number to receive text messages.)


Return to top

Update: Wed., Sept. 12, 12:30 p.m.

Hurricane Florence remains a dangerous storm as it continues its path toward the Southeastern United States. Mary Baldwin officials are monitoring the forecast and continue to prepare campus for its likely effects. At this hour, it appears Staunton will experience heavy rain and high winds beginning on Thursday night, with wind and rain continuing for several days. As a result, MBU could see minor flooding in certain areas, downed tree limbs, and power outages.

Facilities and grounds crews as well as dining services, student life, safety and security, and integrated communications staff are working to ensure that essential services continue and that the MBU campus will be a safe and comfortable refuge to weather the storm. Students considering traveling home should only do so if they will not be navigating toward the path of the hurricane. Students should avoid traveling altogether, beginning Thursday evening.

In the event of a power outage:

  • Students are advised to stay in their residence halls, where they will receive updates and information from resident advisors.
  • Back-up power will be provided to Hunt Dining Hall, and meal service will continue with normal service, but not in the University Café.
  • Back-up power will also be provided to essential equipment and labs in Pearce Science Center.

Please continue to monitor your MBU email for important updates and any decision regarding changes to the academic schedule or university events. Information will also be shared on the MBU website, on the university information line at 540-887-7378, via Baldwin Alert Messages (BAM), and on our social media channels (Facebook, and Twitter: @MaryBaldwinU). For those interested in tracking Hurricane Florence, the National Hurricane Center also provides real-time updates on the storm and its path.


Return to top

Update on Athletics Events: Wed., Sept. 12, 11:45 a.m.

  • Volleyball: postponed for both games on 9/15
  • Men’s soccer: postponed for game 9/15
  • Cross Country: cancelled for 9/14
  • Women’s Soccer: TBD at EMU on 9/13


Return to top

Update: Tues., Sept. 11, 9 a.m.

As Hurricane Florence continues its path toward the East Coast, Mary Baldwin officials are closely monitoring forecasts and have begun preparations to keep the campus community safe and informed.

If the storm stays on this predicted path, the Shenandoah Valley has the potential to experience high winds and heavy rains over the weekend. Minor flooding (mitigated, in part, by our hilly campus) and downed tree limbs and power lines could result.

In accordance with the MBU Emergency Operations Plan, university facilities and grounds crews are inspecting and clearing storm drains, filling sand bags to divert water from a few entrances, prepping generators, and contracting with outside crews to assist with storm clean up, if needed. Dining services and Residence Life staff are stockpiling water, stocking up on flashlights, and establishing plans to keep students fed and comfortable.

Officials are also prepared to keep the community informed in the coming days as the storm progresses and the potential impact on the campus comes into focus. In addition to university-wide emails, important messages will be published on the university websiteMBU Facebook page, and Twitter.

As always, MBU will also deploy Baldwin Alert Messages (BAM) in the event that the university will need to close or if severe weather creates an imminent threat to campus. To receive these important alert messages, it is critical that you have signed up for BAM. Verify your settings and be sure to enter your phone number and elect to receive both emergency and outreach messages on your mobile device. If you need assistance, please reach out to the Office of Integrated Communications Help Desk at (540) 887-7075. 

As always, the safety, security, and well being of all members of our community are the highest priority on our campus. In the next day or so, please plan to take care of any personal needs should campus lose power or face other major issues. This includes keeping your mobile devices charged, and ensuring you do not run out of necessary medications. Please stay alert to weather forecasts, keep in touch with your supervisors and faculty about your individual circumstances, and take precautions to ensure your personal safety.

Return to top