NewsGulf ParkUniversity of Southern Mississippi closes operations on Monday ahead...

University of Southern Mississippi closes operations on Monday ahead of Ida

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The University of Southern Mississippi announced Saturday afternoon that all operations on both Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast campuses will be closed on Monday in anticipation of Hurricane Ida.

The suspension of operations also includes online classes. The university’s dining services will open Monday, but with altered hours.

“At this time, the Fresh Food Company is expected to be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Seymour’s is expected to be open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” the release said.

The university encourages students, faculty and staff to take these precautions in advance of Ida:

1. Check now to make sure your contact information is up-to-date in the University’s Eagle Alert system: https://www.usm.edu/police/eagle-alert.php.
2. Monitor emergency communication channels outlined below.
3. Comply with preparedness and emergency safety advisories issued by University officials or other local or state agencies.
4. Back up electronic files on portable drives or, for University-owned computers, through Eagle Backup.

As of Saturday afternoon, Hurricane Ida is a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ida is expected to rapidly intensify before it makes landfall as a Category 4 storm late Sunday along Louisiana’s coastline.

While the storm’s highest sustained wind speeds are projected to be along Louisiana’s coast and Southeast Louisiana, South Mississippi is under a Tropical Storm Warning, with gusts of hurricane force wind.

According to NOAA, the Pine Belt region can expect to feel tropical-storm-force winds as early as Sunday morning.

The Pine Belt region is expected to receive an excess of six inches of rainfall, with predictions in areas of Southern Mississippi ranging up to 20 inches through Monday.

“Ida is likely to produce heavy rainfall Sunday and Monday across the central Gulf Coast from Southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi, resulting in life-threatening flash and urban flooding and significant river flooding impacts,” NOAA wrote. “As Ida moves inland, significant flooding impacts are very likely across portions of the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys Monday and Tuesday.”

The University of Southern Mississippi identified these areas on the Hattiesburg campus as potential flood damage areas to parked vehicles:

-Pine Haven Drive around Sorority Village
-Montague Boulevard between Kay James Drive and Ross Boulevard
-10 parking spaces on the south end of Fraternity Drive (west side of the street) at Montague Boulevard
-West 4th Street between Golden Eagle Avenue and Eagle Walk
-Southern Miss Drive between 30th and 31st Avenues
-Ray Guy Way at Century Park South/Spirit Park
-South end of Kay James Drive at Montague Boulevard (next to the DuBard School)
-Trent Lott Center west lot, next to M.M. Roberts Stadium
-Ray Guy Way at Eagle Walk, by the raised crosswalk
-Parking area at the southwest corner of McCarty Hall

The full release can be read at https://southernmiss.info/node/280.

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