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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Florida A&M University Closes Campus In Anticipation Of Storms Following Recent Tornado

Florida A&M University has announced the closure of its campus on Tuesday due to expected storms and recovery from last Friday’s tornado.

This decision comes after the campus reopened remotely on Monday for the first day of its summer semester, following the impact of three EF-2 tornadoes that swept through Tallahassee a few days ago and severely affected the historically Black college and university campus.

The university has stated that classes are scheduled to resume remotely on Wednesday.

“The closures include the Quincy Farm, the FAMU Viticulture Center, and The Durell Peaden Jr.  Rural Pharmacy Education Campus in Crestview,” the university said in a Monday afternoon release.

“The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is still without electricity and will be closed Tuesday.”

While FAMU announces its campus closure, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College still plan on being open Tuesday as of 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.

FAMU declared a state of emergency last Friday after the storm, saying that the violent weather knocked out electricity, damaged roofs, downed trees, and utility lines, blocked roadways, and scattered debris across the campus.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, electricity has been restored to the main campus, but at least 15 buildings — including the Grand Ballroom, the Banneker Buildings, and the old Plant, Operations and Maintenance (POM) Building — suffered some form of roof and water damage. The flashing on Lee Hall was also damaged, according to Kendall Jones, associate vice president Facilities, Planning, Construction, and Safety.

FAMU President Larry Robinson and senior administration officials held a virtual townhall meeting Sunday evening to update students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders on the progress of the university’s recovery efforts.

“We have a really great team of experts who are working on this in collaboration with city, county and state officials,” Robinson said during the townhall. “A lot of people have reached out to us, and we really appreciate them. Once again, we beg your patience. It’s going to take us a few days to get back on our feet, but we are making amazing progress.”

As the next round of storms approaches the capital city, a temporary American Red Cross shelter has been established at FAMU’s Al Lawson Center on Althea Gibson Way. As of Sunday night, 60 people had registered to seek shelter, and the university’s Police Department is providing additional security for those staying there, according to the university.

The National Weather Service is forecasting several lines of storms as they move east through the Big Bend on Monday and into Tuesday.

This story is developing and we will keep you updated as more info becomes available.

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