UCF post-Irma: classes, food, power

UPDATE: Students will now return to class on Monday, Sept. 18 and employees will return Friday, Sept. 15, according to a Tuesday UCF alert.
UPDATE: The section for apartment complexes with and without power has been revised. 

Hurricane Irma ripped through the UCF area Sunday, leaving thousands in the dark before continuing to make its way up the western edge of the state.

While Irma — now a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center — makes its way through southwestern Georgia, UCF students should expect to make their way back to class this week.

“UCF is set to be fully functional on Thursday for classes and all other business,” Adrienne Frame, UCF vice president and associate dean of students, said in a Monday Facebook Live video.

She said this also includes online classes.

However, Thursday seems a little too soon for some students.

“I don’t think it should resume on Thursday at all,” Jamie Velez, a senior game design and animation major at UCF, said. “Floridians are literally everywhere across the US right now. Plus the airport still hasn’t made [an] announcement of when they will re-open. It’s all up in the air of when it will even be possible to get back here, whether by plane or driving.”

Limited commercial flights will fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO) on Tuesday, according to its website. The Orlando Sanford International Airport will open at about 6:30 a.m. that same day, according to its Twitter.

Velez, 23, said UCF should stay closed through this weekend to give everyone a chance to get back, assess any damage, help family and get settled.

A Monday night UCF alert asked for patience and understanding, as the two will be key in hurricane recovery.

Samantha Salvo, a junior pre-accounting major, said she and her 4-year-old son Vincent evacuated to Alabama to escape Irma.

“I had to evacuate from my family’s mobile home. With the gas shortage, we don’t know when we’re getting back, Salvo said, adding that school seems unlikely for her this week.

Other students are more than ready to get back to class.

“Personally I have more than enough time to get back,” sophomore graphic design student Danielle Kraus said. “I almost wish we could go back sooner … because I know this is going to hurt the professors learning plans.”

Kraus, 19, wondered if classes are going to be more fast-paced now or if sections will be skipped to account for the missed class sessions.

Frame said students should reach out to their professors via email if they cannot return by Thursday or remotely work on assignments.

“Students need to plan on attending classes on Thursday,” UCF Police Department Deputy Chief Carl Metzger said in the video. “If they’re not there, I’m sure their professors will not be happy.”

Some students such as Kaitlyn Sheehan aren’t happy.

“I have two tests on Thursday and one on Friday, maybe a lab, too,” sophomore biology major Sheehan said. “Two of my four teachers haven’t responded to my emails. I can’t book a flight back. I got pictures of my house from neighbors. Two windows broke during the storm and [my house has] unknown water damage.”

UCF will communicate any other cancellations through social media platforms and UCF’s website, Frame said.

The university will also begin to host several hundred National Guard members Monday night, according to a UCF alert.

UCF will host up to 1,000 National Guard members and 250 vehicles on campus in response to Gov. Rick Scott’s call for public universities to assist with hurricane recovery, the alert stated.

“That amount of personnel — in addition to the number and types of vehicles — meant that in and around Spectrum Stadium was the best place to stage recovery operations,” the alert reads.

As such, the Knights’ Sept. 16 football game against Georgia Tech has been canceled and rescheduling options are being explored, according to the alert.

“We’re honored to host the National Guard and play a part in helping our community and state recover from Irma,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White said in the alert. “On behalf of our student-athletes, athletics staff and fans, I promise the Knights will do everything we can to assist in recovery efforts.”

 

Food

Students on campus will have access to food starting Tuesday, Frame said.

On Tuesday, 63 South will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Knightros will be open from noon to 6 p.m. The UCF food supply shuttle will resume Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will take students to a Walmart near campus.

Power

More than 809,000 customers are out of power in Orange County, according to Duke Energy.

However, students who live on campus are able to return to their residence halls, according to a Monday night UCF alert.

“They will need to enter campus via University Blvd., and they should be prepared to show their student IDs,” the alert states. “UCF will open to all vehicular traffic at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12.”

UCF’s main campus, including on-campus housing and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management have complete power, according to the video. It is unclear what other satellite campuses have power at this time, but the Central Florida Focus has requested further information from the university.

“The National Guard is stationed at UCF to support Florida’s recovery efforts as six million Floridians remain without power, and UCF remains committed to assisting all Knights through this trying time,” a Monday afternoon alert read.

Student and staff should report any found damage via a work order process, according to the alert.

“Damages related to life safety and the prevention of further damage will be prioritized over cosmetic or routine fixes,” the alert stated.

Here are the complexes near UCF with and without electricity, according to students who rode out the storm in the area.

With power:

Ashton at Waterford Lakes

Boardwalk at Alafaya Trail

Knight’s Circle

Knights Plaza

The Marquee

The Retreat at Orlando

The Quad

The Verge

Victoria Place

Highpoint Club Apartments

The Lofts

Northgate Lakes

Tivoli Apartments

University House

525 Avalon Park

Mercury 3100

Orion on Orpington

The Pointe at Central

The Village at Science Drive

Without power:

As of Friday, Sept. 15, all apartment complexes previously listed now have power.

 

 

Check the Central Florida Focus for more updates as the situation develops.

This article was originally published on Sept. 11, 2017.