Hurricane Sandy - Storm Updates
The information on this page will be updated regularly during the course of the storm event.
Last updated: 6:45 p.m., November 2, 2012
As of this email, power remains out in our surrounding area. Campus facilities that draw their power solely from the local utility, therefore, are still without power. These include the townhouses, maintenance barn, President's residence, Southwell Hall, the early learning center, and PepsiCo Theater. Based on the estimates for full power restoration, we are optimistic that the local utility will be back online in our area sometime this weekend. However, this is not guaranteed.
Since Monday evening at approximately 11 p.m. most of the campus (all facilities connected to the campus power facility) has had full power. All of the main academic, administrative, athletic, and student life buildings have had power. The Rec-Plex and Library have been open and particularly accommodating to town residents and faculty/staff who need a place to take a hot shower, access the internet, etc. All student residences, with the exception of the townhouses as noted above, have had power. Of the approximately 2,800 beds on campus, about 460 are in the townhouses, so we have been fortunate in that the majority of our student housing has had power all week.
All Classes Resuming on Monday
As a reminder, graduate classes only will be held on Saturday, November 3. All classes are scheduled to resume on Monday, November 5. Given the loss of a full week of classes, it is critical that we miss no more class days. Unfortunately, resuming classes on Monday will cause hardship for some students and their families. We wish this were avoidable. If, for example, the local utility is not back online by Monday, our students living in the townhouses will have been without power since Monday evening. They can access their houses to get their personal belongings, books, computers, etc., but they will not have had a normal living or sleeping situation for some time, particularly if they remained on campus this past week. If the power remains out in the townhouses as of Sunday afternoon, we will be in touch with those students with specific information and directives. Additionally, the approximately 300 students who live at the beach have been displaced since last weekend when the beach area was ordered to be evacuated. These students are in the process of making alternative living arrangements for perhaps an extended period of time.
We are doing everything we can to support our students, and we thank everyone for their patience, assistance, and understanding in this regard.
Students Returning to Campus
All townhouse residents who are not currently here on campus but will be returning for classes on Monday are asked not to return until Sunday afternoon if at all possible. This gives more time to monitor the power situation. If you can return on Monday morning, you may want to consider doing so. We have no control over the power situation, so it may be best to plan as late a return to campus as possible. If you are able to stay elsewhere or with friends, you certainly can come back anytime you want. Please do not misinterpret this message. We are not directing you to stay away, nor are we signaling that we do not want you here! Rather, we just want you not to be in a situation where you are here, your house is without power, and your options may be limited. Of course, we will assist you as best we can.
All other students living on campus who left last weekend or sometime this week can return at any time, as their residences have power.
Several communications have been sent to beach residents, so we will not repeat them here. The Office of Residence Life and Office of the Dean of Students are doing everything they can to assist student beach residents, with housing in vacant spaces on campus, including converted lounges. Faculty, staff, alumni, and local neighbors who have volunteered to house one or more students will be contacted after all campus spaces have been assigned. Student beach residents who are provided spaces on campus will not be charged any fees for these accommodations between now and the end of the semester. A significantly discounted meal plan option has also been put together for student beach residents who will need to use the Dining Hall for meals.
The Fairfield beach area has suffered extensive flooding and damage. It is too soon to know the extent of the damage impacting houses rented by our students.
Overall, the situation on campus this past week has been orderly and even rather quiet for many, with the exception of Monday evening when the storm hit. The numerous communication channels (emails, StagAlert calls, website, Facebook, etc.) have been both helpful and perhaps confusing. We cannot control what is posted or communicate through non-University administered systems or sites. Again, we strongly encourage and ask all faculty, staff, and students to make sure their cell phone number is registered and recorded properly with the University to ensure your receipt of the most critical emergency messages.
There are many people at the University who deserve a great deal of thanks and appreciation for their hard work and dedication this past week, and we will find a time and manner in which to recognize them. No emergency situation is handled perfectly, of course, and we will do a review of our handling of things as we do after every emergency situation. Such a review highlights both the positives and areas for improvement.
Thank you, and best regards to everyone with the hope that power (and heat) come back on soon for everyone. And our thoughts and prayers are with those people and communities who have been devastated by the recent storm.
Mark C. Reed
Vice President for Administration & Chief of Staff
Last updated: 2 p.m., October 31, 2012
All classes on Thursday, November 1, are canceled. University offices will be open, and employees are asked to come to work if they can. We understand that some employees will not be able to do so.
A limited number of University events may take place on Thursday, November 1. Visit Fairfield.edu for more information.
We will make a decision about classes on Friday, November 2, no later than 2 p.m. tomorrow. If we are able to have classes, we will, and all classes will resume by Monday, November 5, at the latest. Students should plan accordingly.
Specific information for student residents of the Fairfield beach area will be sent by separate message soon.
Last updated: 11:00 a.m., October 31, 2012
We wanted to provide you with a status report as of 10:45 a.m. today, Wednesday, October 31:
- A decision will be made by 2 p.m. today as to the status of classes and operations tomorrow, Thursday, November 1.
- The authorities from the Town of Fairfield have indicated that the beach area will be uninhabitable for an extended period of time. The University is working on accommodation options for the students displaced by the storm, and we will communicate those options by 2 p.m.
In regard to campus services available to employees and students on campus (e.g., dining, etc.), please visit Students411, www.fairfield.edu/students.
For faculty, staff and students in the area who are without power, you are welcome to use the shower facilities in the Quick Recreational Complex, even if you do not have a membership. Please sign in at the front desk; you must provide your own towels and toiletries.
Thank you for your patience as we work to restore the University's operations. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those suffering the adverse effects of the storm.
Last updated: 6:30 p.m., October 30, 2012
The campus power facility remains operational, so most of campus has power. The most significant exception is the townhouses. Students living in the townhouses who remain on campus should not spend the night in their houses. Please make arrangements to stay with friends. Please follow the instructions of Public Safety or Residence Life staff if you are told to lock up and leave your house. Students unable to stay with friends elsewhere on campus can go to the Barone Campus Center for the evening.
The Fairfield beach area remains flooded. Water is past Veteran's Park on Reef Road, and extends significantly down Rowland, Penfield, and Beach roads as well. Fairfield Beach Road is flooded. The Town of Fairfield has all roads closed leading to the beach area.
Once again, all classes on Wednesday, October 31, are canceled. University offices will be open, and all employees are asked to come to work if they are able to do so. Modified schedules or services may be necessary, but as long as our campus power facility is operational, most employees will have a normal working experience. In the event that our campus power facility goes down, every effort will be made to bring it back online. Under normal circumstances, this could take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours depending on the cause of the disruption.
We will undertake all reasonable efforts to resume classes on Thursday, November 1. Our next update will take place by 1 p.m. tomorrow.
Last updated: 12:30 p.m., October 30, 2012
This is an update from Fairfield University as of noon on Tuesday, October 30. We have decided to cancel all classes and events scheduled for Wednesday, October 31. University offices will be open and employees are asked to report to work if they are able to so. There may be modified hours or services due to staff availability.
Government officials and utility companies are not able at this time to predict when the full restoration of power will occur. The Town of Fairfield remains under a state of emergency. Most of the campus continues to have power but only from our power facility. We have no power coming from the local utility. Therefore, our power situation, while better than the surrounding area, is not fully stable. Also, some facilities, including the townhouses, remain without any power. By making the decision now to cancel classes and events on Wednesday, October 31, students and their families can plan accordingly. We advise that students who left campus not return to campus until tomorrow if possible. We want to resume classes as soon as possible, and will have classes on Thursday, November 1, if we are reasonably able to do so. If there are any changes to report, we will send an update as soon as we can.
Students living in the Fairfield Beach area should contact their landlords, as well as follow directives from the Town of Fairfield as to their ability to return to their homes. Town officials have indicated that they will not be able to make a full assessment of conditions in the beach area until after today's high tide at approximately noon. There has been extensive flooding. We are hopeful that homes which students rent will ultimately be okay. As we learn more, we can assist students who may need temporary accommodations if they are unable to stay with friends on campus.
Students currently on campus are reminded to check Students 411 for the latest information about the hours of operation for the Dining Hall, Recreation Complex, and Library. Thank you.
Last updated: 9:30 p.m., October 30, 2012
Campus did not sustain any major damage last night. However, there are several trees down. Power was lost throughout campus at approximately 6:15 p.m. Facilities staff was able to re-start the campus power facility at approximately 11 p.m. All parts of the campus connected to the power facility have had power since then. Please note that buildings not connected to the power facility, such as the townhouses, remain without power. Current reports are that 98% of the Town of Fairfield is without power.
The Dining Hall is open for students and essential personnel on campus. We are monitoring the situation and will provide an update at approximately 1 p.m. regarding the power status in the local area, as well as information about classes and University operations tomorrow.
Last updated: 1:55 p.m., October 29, 2012
The University remains closed today, Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30. A decision will be made regarding Wednesday's classes and operations by 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Students remaining on campus are strongly encouraged to remain indoors as much as possible, particuarly as conditions worsen through the afternoon.
Last updated: 12:20 p.m., October 28, 2012
This is an updated emergency message from Fairfield University to all faculty, staff, and students.
As a reminder, all classes scheduled for Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30, are canceled.
University offices will also be closed on Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30. Please be advised that essential personnel, such as Residence Life staff, all maintenance and facilities staff, and others are asked to report to work as usual. Essential personnel will be contacted by their supervisors as needed.
Once again, all students who can go home are strongly encouraged to do so. We are anticipating the loss of power on campus and the surrounding area. Students who will be remaining on campus are asked to follow the instructions of the Office of Residence Life. At a minimum, keep all windows and doors closed and bring inside any items that are outside and could be blown around.
Students who live in the beach area are subject to a mandatory evacuation order by the Town of Fairfield by nightfall tonight. Students should expect to be away from their homes for multiple days. Therefore, they should take with them sufficient clothing, supplies, and valuables. Be in touch with your landlords with any specific questions. Students can relocate their cars to campus.
Students who need assistance or are unable to go home or stay with friends should go to the Office of Residence Life in the campus center for assistance. Dining Services will continue to be open. The library, recreation complex, and health center also will remain open subject to staff availability. Modified hours or services may be necessary, however.
Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.
Last updated: 5:50 p.m., October 27, 2012
Attention All Fairfield Students Living on the Beach Areas
This is an emergency message from Fairfield University to all students living in the beach area. The Town of Fairfield has just announced that a state of emergency has been declared for the Town of Fairfield and that all residents of the beach area, including Fairfield University students, will be subject to a mandatory evacuation beginning Sunday, October 28, 2012 at noon. Evacuations must be complete before nightfall on Sunday. If you live at the beach, you will need to leave your house before night fall tomorrow in order to comply with this order.
Students should either travel to their homes as soon as possible, or if they are unable to go home, go to the Fairfield University campus. Students may either take up residence with a friend on campus or they may go to the Barone Campus Center, which will be open throughout the storm. As announced earlier today by the University, classes have already been cancelled for Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30.
Student safety is our priority, so please use this time to make necessary arrangements to leave your beach house for alternate shelter, either at your home residence or on campus.
For further information regarding the evacuation, go to the Town of Fairfield website at www.fairfieldct.org or call (203) 254-4899.
Last updated: 5 p.m., October 27, 2012
STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN THE TOWN OF FAIRFIELD - MANDATORY BEACH AREA EVACUATION BY 12 P.M. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28
The Fairfield First Selectman, Michael Tetreau, has declared a STATE OF EMERGENCY in the Town of Fairfield along with a MANDATORY EVACUATION for residents of the beach area by 12 p.m. on Sunday. Here is the full statement which was issued at 2 p.m. on Saturday:
Hurricane Sandy is a very significant storm. (As the First Selectman of Fairfield,) I have declared a state of emergency in the Town of Fairfield. All residents should be prepared for a loss of power for an extended period of time. United Illuminating is projecting 50 to 70% of their customers will lose power.
We are expecting tropical storm winds and some flooding by 11 p.m. Sunday, Tropical Storm Irene level flooding by 11 a.m. Monday and extreme high tide with more, flooding exceeding the 1938 Hurricane, by midnight Monday.
For residents of the beach area, we are asking for a voluntary evacuation starting Sunday morning with MANDATORY EVACUATION beginning Sunday at noon. We need to complete evacuations before nightfall when wind and rain begin to strengthen. Be prepared to stay away from the area for several days.
The emergency shelter at Ludlowe High School will open at 12 noon on Sunday for people and pets.
Our next update will come at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. For more information go to the Town of Fairfield website or call (203) 254-4899.
Last updated: 1 p.m., October 27, 2012
All classes scheduled for Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30, are cancelled. Most, if not all University activities and events will also be cancelled. Questions about a particular activity or event should be directed to the sponsoring office or department.
We are making this decision now about classes on Monday and Tuesday so that students who want to go home can do so as soon as possible. Students who are unable to leave campus can remain in their residences. The campus remains open, and essential services such as the Dining Hall will be open.
At this time, University offices will remain open and operating on normal schedules on Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30.
All weather forecasts at this time predict severe weather for our area. It is possible that an evacuation of the Fairfield Beach area may be ordered. We continue to monitor that situation and are represented at the Town of Fairfield's emergency management team meetings and briefings. Utility companies and government officials have indicated that there could be widespread loss of power for an extended period of time. While the University has its own power plant, it is intended to work with the local power grid, and there is no guarantee that our power plant will be able to operate should the local power grid go down.
Last updated: 2:45 p.m., October 26, 2012
The message below was sent to all students for your reference.
Subject: Hurricane Sandy Update
To all students:
The University has been following closely the progress of Hurricane Sandy. Remember that the University will utilize multiple communication methods, including website updates, traditional e-mails, and StagAlert messages, to keep the students informed and provide instructions as necessary. The University's Facebook and Twitter accounts will also be updated regularly.
For our students living in the Fairfield Beach area, please be prepared to move your cars away from Fairfield Beach, as extraordinarily high tides are expected starting late Sunday night. The University has made available the parking lots near Jogues and Regis halls, as well as the rear lot behind Canisius Hall. Beach residents are welcome to start using those lots immediately.
The University is also preparing evacuation centers for our students living in the area of Fairfield Beach if the need arises. More information will be sent as the plans are finalized.
Also, we recommend that you keep your cell phone fully charged, fill your gas tank, and stay on top of weather alerts and updates. Two excellent sources of hurricane information are provided by the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Public Safety at (203) 254-4090.
Last updated: 12 p.m., October 26, 2012
With Hurricane Sandy potentially threatening Connecticut, Fairfield University will be closely monitoring the storm's path over the next few days.
The University's website has a designated page for storm announcements:
In addition, the University will be updating our Facebook page and you may
follow us on Twitter to get updates.
In the event of an emergency, or the need to provide a timely update, the StagAlert Emergency Notification system will be used.
The above information is subject to change as circumstances dictate. Please check the sites listed above, as well as text messages and your University e-mail accounts frequently for updates.