Campus closes in advance of Hurricane Sandy's arrival
With forecasters predicting heavy rain, strong winds, power outages and flooding in the region due to Hurricane Sandy, university officials announced that UMass Amherst and its off-campus facilities around the state will be closed Oct. 29.
The closing notice was communicated to students, staff and faculty through broadcast e-mails, text messages, the recorded emergency closing telephone line and via the campus's website. The notice was also distributed to local television and radio outlets.
The closure decision came after Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth and urged schools and private employers to shut down for Monday, when the massive storm is expected to be at its peak.
Personnel designated as essential by the university will report to work. All campus employees and students are being cautioned to use sound judgment when traveling and avoid dangerous conditions. Buses will be operating based as conditions allow. Libraries will be closed.
Faculty will be communicating with students on arrangements for any make-up exams, quizzes and classwork.
Residential Life staff has been in contact with on-campus students about necessary preparations and precautions related to the storm.
In a broadcast e-mail, off-campus students were advised to complete storm preparations at their places of residence before the storm begins. Students were urged to obtain adequate supplies of food, water and cash . To have their vehicles fully fueled and to charge cell phones and computers in case power is interrupted.
As long the campus maintains power, officials said the Campus Center will remain open 24 hours per day after the storm, providing an opportunity to off-campus students and community members to get a meal and charge their cells phones as needed. Dining commons will also be open.
The university is providing updates on the status of the campus through social media and web-based and other electronic communications.
Emergency Closing Line: 413/545-3630