Each fall semester occurs during hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1st through November 30th. Northeastern South Carolina typically experiences the peak of hurricane season from late August through October, although impacts have occurred outside these times. In recent years, we have had considerable experience with hurricane preparation and response. Collectively, we are ready as a University. However, each individual also has a personal responsibility to plan, prepare, and act whenever a tropical system threatens.
The purpose of this page is to provide links to resources to help you plan and prepare for a possible hurricane. Note that I do not currently update this page in real time for individual storms. Please check the CCU Advisory page for campus updates if a storm is threatening.
- SCEMD: Know Your Zone - If you live off campus anywhere along the South Carolina coast, you need to know if you’re in an evacuation zone, and what your zone letter is. In the event of an evacuation, zone letters will be used to communicate which parts of the coastline are vulnerable to storm surge for a particular hurricane. Note that all evacuations in South Carolina are mandatory.
- South Carolina Hurricane Guide - Review this guide at the start of each hurricane season. Information may change from year to year.
- CCU Hurricanes Page - This page contains general information about hurricane preparation for the campus community. Note in particular the Public Safety video at the bottom of this page regarding campus closures.
- CCU Hurricane FAQs - Common University-related questions are answered here.
During hurricane season, you should check the weather forecast daily and stay abreast of any potential tropical developments.
All evacuation orders are issued by the Governor and will be communicated via local television, radio stations, and Internet sources. Since CCU is a state agency, the University generally does not cancel classes or close residence halls until after the Governor has made an evacuation decision. Communications regarding changes to campus operations will normally occur after the Governor makes a public announcement.
- SCETV YouTube Channel - Governor’s press conferences are live streamed here
- SCEMD Twitter Feed - Evacuation orders and storm information are normally posted here
General information about any damage and effects from the storm may be found by reading news articles and watching video reports from local media. If you’re out of town while a storm hits, please remember that the media go out and search for the worst damage they can find, as that makes for the most sensational news reports. Your dorm room, apartment, or house might not have suffered the same damage, or any damage at all.
- Isaias (2020): An early season hurricane that made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, NC at Category 1 strength. There was little to no damage to campus. Fall semester had not yet started, so there was no disruption to fall classes. Summer II courses were ongoing but were already in distance learning format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Dorian (2019): A near miss from a Category 3 hurricane, with the strongest winds passing about 45 miles offshore. The storm weakened to Category 2 before eventually making landfall at Cape Hatteras, NC. Campus sustained only minor damage, primarily due to leaks. Classes had been in session only a few weeks before campus had to be evacuated for about a week.
- Florence (2018): Record flooding. At one point in the forecast, Florence was expected to make landfall around Myrtle Beach as a Category 4 major hurricane. It fortunately weakened and made landfall around Wrightsville Beach, NC as a Category 1. Unfortunately, it then took about 3 days to cross our area, weakening into a strong tropical storm in the process. Between 15 inches and nearly 3 feet of rain fell over the eastern Carolinas, leading to massive flooding of major river systems, including the Waccamaw. Campus sustained some minor damage, mostly due to water leaks. Due to the flooding, the disruption of the highways, and concerns about supplying enough food to the area, the University was closed for about 3 weeks.
- Irma (2017): A storm that made landfall in Florida, after failing to turn northward along the eastern US coastline as originally forecast. Campus had to be evacuated for a few days when the forecast called for a major hurricane impact, but Irma’s failure to turn meant that our area only received some rain and a few strong wind gusts. No significant damage occurred.
- Matthew (2016): A direct hit from a Category 1 hurricane, which came ashore near McClellanville, SC and moved directly over our area. Significant tree damage occurred, with widespread power outages in the area. Record flooding from heavy rains occurred (with the record shattered two years later by Florence). Campus was closed for about a week.