Safety concerns, Florence forecast forces ECU to cancel Blacksburg trip

GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – GREENVILLE, N.C. – Citing significant imminent safety concerns, ECU has decided it will not travel to Blacksburg for Saturday’s football game against Virginia Tech due to the forecast track of Hurricane Florence that includes the high probability of a catastrophic impact on the region and perilous travel conditions before, during and after the storm.

Florence, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 140 mph, is projected by the National Hurricane Center to maintain its track for landfall on the North Carolina coast before affecting the Greenville area with flood-producing rainfall and destructive winds as early as Thursday. The storm is predicted to be more severe than anything the University has experienced in nearly 20 years and its impact could be unprecedented.

The safety and welfare for everyone in the path of this storm is the University’s main priority and decisions regarding athletics events are made in the best interest of ensuring the safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and their families. In fact, all ECU athletics teams are prohibited from traveling for competition purposes this weekend. This is also consistent with the NCAA’s requirement that member institutions protect the health of and provide a safe environment for student-athletes.

It is ECU’s hope the game can be rescheduled at a later date this season.

Future, Current, Historical Hurricane Florence Impacts on ECU & Region
•Three states - North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia – and Pitt (N.C.) County have all declared a state of emergency.
•A Hurricane Watch was issued for the Greenville area at 8:00 a.m. on Sept. 11.
•ECU has cancelled classes scheduled to start after 12 noon on Sept. 11 and will not hold classes for the remainder of this week.
•ECU campus administrators are instructing students to evacuate residence halls on campus. Residence halls will close at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12.
•All ECU athletics events (games), home or road, all cancelled through Sunday.
•Regardless of the track, the potential for several days of heavy rainfall, flooding and gusty winds across portions of eastern North Carolina exists. These impacts may lead to downed trees, prolonged power outages, blocked roadways, closed bridges, and disruptions to water/sewer supply.
•ECU and Greenville have experienced two catastrophic flooding events within the last 20 years - Floyd (1999), Matthew (2016)

ECU is scheduled to return to action on Saturday, Sept. 22 when it opens American Athletic Conference play at USF. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. and the contest will be televised by ESPNews.