FCLC: “We Are Prepared.”

Residents, University Staff Batten Down the Hatches for Hurricane Irene


Elizabeth Pantaleo

New York City prepares for Hurricane Irene. (Elizabeth Pantaleo/Abaca Press/MCT)


New York City prepares for Hurricane Irene. (Elizabeth Pantaleo/Abaca Press/MCT)

Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) is taking the necessary precautions to ensure students’ safety in anticipation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, the worst storm to hit the metropolitan area since the Great New England Hurricane of 1938.

Since Thursday, the University has sent mass emails and texts as a way to inform students and staff of changes that will be taking place during the next two to three days, such as move-in times and freshman orientation.

Freshman and transfer move-ins have been rescheduled from Sunday to Monday morning. Upper class move-in will not take place until 5 p.m the same day. All activities scheduled for freshman orientation Sunday have been canceled.

According to Keith Eldredge, dean of students at FCLC, McMahon is a little less than half-occupied right now—there are about 400 students currently in the building. Steps have been followed to ensure the safety of those in the building, including the availability of food and electricity.

“McMahon has a generator and food on campus,” Eldredge said. “The generator can last up [to] three days.”

Bob Howe, director of communications at Fordham, said, “Sodexo has made sure there is sufficient food to feed everyone. We have an emergency generator at Lincoln Center should the power go out. If we had to, we can shelter people from outside the dorms.”

Joseph Cvelic, security supervisor at FCLC, said that he would encourage all students in McMahon to shut their windows. In an email blast sent to residents of McMahon, students were advised to “close and lock windows.”

Currently the biggest concern, according to Cvelic, is the plaza because of the potential for flying debris.

“The plaza is outdoors and we have a lot of trees out there,” Cvelic said. “We’re surrounded by residential buildings with balconies and plastic furniture everywhere…anything may fly off.”

In preparation for severe winds and rain, drains have been cleared to prevent flooding. In addition, movable objects outside have been stored away, such as ashtrays, garbage cans and furniture.

In the event of the storm posing an elevated threat to students’ safety, Ram Vans would be available to transport students to a larger shelter located at Rose Hill, Cvelic said.

One area of unease in particular is ground-level windows. Although the facilities staff is confident that windows at FCLC can withstand the wind conditions, the windows on the street and plaza level are an area of weakness, according to Eldredge.

“[They are] single pane glasses so those areas were taped up with duck tape as a precaution,” Eldredge said. “Most windows upstairs have two pieces of glass so those windows are stronger and more durable. The street level has a different type of glass that is thinner and not quite as durable.”

One major outdoor anxiety students voiced concern about was the construction site—specifically the large crane.

Howe said that the crane is nothing to be concerned about

“The crane is allowed to swing free so it acts like a weather vane—so it will be fine,” Howe said.

Eldredge said that although residents may see the crane swing in the wind, they should not be alarmed; it is how it is designed.

Fordham staff will be on campus throughout the duration of the storm to assist with any problems or issues students may have.  Eldredge and Cvelic urged students to be prepared with food and recommended that people stay indoors.

While students won’t be mandated to stay inside during the storm, they are strongly suggested to remain in McMahon until the weather gets better.

“My biggest worry is that folks are not prepared or they try to venture out during the height of the storm,” Eldredge said. “There may be that natural curiosity to see what is happening but in a hurricane it can be extremely dangerous.”

The first day of classes is still slated to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 31, unless the emergency management team decides to postpone classes for safety reasons.

“We’ve had two emergency management team council meetings this week plus extensive preparation from every administrative office,” Howe said. “Everyone has been involved in preparing for this. We are as prepared as we can be.“


To stay informed:

Visit Fordham.edu for updated information

Call security if there is a problem in McMahon: (212) 636-7111

General questions: contact the Emergency Management Team: (800) 280-7669

Track the storm on our blog: http://www.observatorylc.com/?p=2551