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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

As Hurricane Irene looms, Brandeis to open residence halls Saturday

Published: August 25, 2011
Section: News

Brandeis will open Massell and North residence halls with limited staff assistance on Saturday, allowing first-year students to move in early as New England prepares for Hurricane Irene on Sunday.

The university still plans to hold a regular move in on Sunday but will give families the option of moving in Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“We will have limited staff and not able to offer much more than key issuing, traffic and parking support [on Sunday],” university officials wrote in a statement on the orientation website. “If you are currently holding a hotel reservation for Saturday night we would like you to hold on to it and stay at the hotel that night.”

Irene, currently a category three hurricane with 120 m.p.h. winds, is expected to make landfall in New England as a category one hurricane, with the eye of the storm striking New Jersey at 2 p.m. on Sunday and then moving through Connecticut, Long Island and Western Massachusetts later in the afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass., on Thursday evening predicted tropical storm conditions Sunday and Sunday night with 1-2 inches of rainfall possible. On Saturday, it predicted a 60 percent chance of showers on and off throughout the day.

Meteorologists said that communities west of the eye would get more rain while those east of the eye would face more wind.

“If you are held up by weather and you are not going to make it to campus on Saturday or Sunday, please don’t get anxious about that,” Brandeis officials wrote. “Get here safely and we will welcome you whenever you get here and get you into the flow of Orientation.”

Brandeis recommended that families traveling use the following schedule as a guideline for moving in on Saturday: 10 a.m.—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Northern Connecticut, Southern Maine, Southern New Hampshire and Southern Vermont; 11 a.m.—Northern New England and Southern Connecticut; noon—New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania; 1 p.m.—all others.

Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer sent an e-mail Thursday afternoon to returning Brandeis students advising them not to move in before Tuesday, as scheduled.

“All of our efforts are now directed at getting the newest members of our community to Waltham safely and into their residence halls,” Sawyer wrote. “This will be very difficult and will require patience and cooperation.

“The designated day for returning upperclassmen to occupy their residence hall assignment is Tuesday. And that day is perfect for this situation because by Tuesday the storm will be long gone and any damage to the campus will have been dealt with,” he wrote.

This is a breaking news story. Please continue checking back for updates on Friday and throughout the weekend.