By The Blue & Gray Press Editorial Board
Hurricane Florence may have avoided UMW, but the rest of the country was certainly not left unscathed. Parts of the Carolinas were ravaged by the storm, which at one point reached Category 4 status.
As of publication, the official death toll has risen to 37. Much of North Carolina’s farmland was demolished. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports that over 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,000 pigs died in the hurricane. Many homeless and low-income citizens could not afford to evacuate. Homes and businesses have been destroyed. It is going to take a lot of time and effort for the affected areas to rebuild after this horrific tragedy.
While UMW’s class cancellation and campus closure may have seemed premature, it was a conscious move on the part of the University in the interest of protecting students. While Virginia was primarily unaffected, it is difficult to predict a hurricane’s exact path. As the Governor declared a state of emergency, it was important to take the threat seriously. It is always better to take precautions than to risk students’ safety and well-being. The Fredericksburg area was very fortunate to be unaffected given how serious the damage was in the Carolinas.
Our hearts go out to the families of hurricane victims and to UMW students whose homes and families may have been affected.