Hurricane Florence: Update from President Connie Ledoux Book

President Book offers this video message as the Elon community returns to campus following Hurricane Florence, which devastated the coastal areas of North Carolina and South Carolina and has caused widespread and catastrophic flooding. 

President Connie Ledoux Book has recorded a message to the university community as the campus resumes operations and classes prepare to restart on Tuesday. 

Watch the message below. The full text of President Book’s remarks follows. 

President Connie Ledoux Book’s message to the Elon community

Sept. 17, 2018

Hello Elon. It has been quite an eventful week!

While we have managed a major disruption in our campus schedule, today we are mindful of the thousands of people in coastal areas who have suffered tragic and catastrophic loss due to Hurricane Florence. And the storm’s heartbreaking impact is not yet over as rivers continue to rise.

This historic storm will call for a long recovery effort that will test the will and resources of our state. Elon will be ready to respond in the weeks and months ahead. We have been spared the worst impact of the storm, so we are in the best position to help. And that will include supporting more than a hundred Elon students and their families who have been impacted.

Today we are immediately focused on returning to normal operations. Offices are open and classes will be back on schedule tomorrow. About 1,400 students stayed on campus during the storm and others are working to return today. Our top priority is for everyone to return safely. We understand students will be returning from every direction and will have to decide if and when it is safe to return.

I know everyone will do their best to get back to their daily routines as soon as possible and help others who need more time to catch up. This storm hit just as we were off to a strong start this semester. We need to work hard in coming days and weeks to maintain our momentum and continue our progress.

My mother used to tell me that you don’t have to like every situation you find yourself in, but you need to like yourself in every situation you are in. That’s how I feel about Hurricane Florence.

One opportunity we had during the storm was to test our emergency response system. I was pleased at our ability to mobilize, test our systems, and stand up our emergency operations when we were under the threat of a potential Category 4 storm headed our way. Communication was excellent. Faculty, staff and students effectively took action. We activated our Emergency Operations Center and had the chance to test our disaster planning.

And while we were very pleased with our readiness, there are certainly lessons we will take from Hurricane Florence, to make sure we are at peak performance in a more difficult situation.

One final note: When the rain eases off here, be aware that there are members of our community still facing difficulties from this storm. If you need assistance, please let us know. And if you know someone who needs help, please urge them to reach out. This is a time for us to take care of one another.

I am proud of Elon. And I know that in the weeks and months ahead, all of us will help our state understand that the compassionate Elon community stands ready to help in any way we can. Thank you.