Hurricane Harvey’s Effects on Longhorn Community

After the devastating Hurricane Harvey hit land on Friday, flooding Texas cities and displacing more than 30,000 people, here’s what we know about its effects on the Longhorn community.

School Starting

As students and faculty continue to prepare for the first day of class on Wednesday, UT will operate on normal schedules. The university is working to accommodate those who can’t make it to campus in time. The provost’s office released a statement telling students affected by Harvey that they should put their safety first. Students who think they may be late for the start of class are advised to fill out this emergency absentee form, though the university knows some students might not even be able to access to it.

“The university will accommodate any student or employee who is not able to arrive on campus in a timely manner because of flooding or inclement weather or who needs to adjust their family schedule because of local school delays,” the statement reads. “Members of the UT community should never put themselves in danger or risk their safety. We ask them to assess the situation and be aware of weather and road conditions before they leave their homes.”

According to UT director of media relations J.B. Bird, many students have already used the absentee form. Although 94 percent of students living on campus already moved in, many have families that were hit by Harvey. Bird says roughly one-third of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled come from counties that Gov. Abbott has declared federal disaster areas. If students need to talk to somebody, the Counseling and Mental Health Center is providing a drop-in group for those impacted by the hurricane every day this week.

Houston Texas Exes

The Alcalde reached out to members of the Houston Texas Exes Chapter, asking how members are holding up. Scholarship Chair Brock Niezgoda said that an email sent out to the chapter board received positive responses and no one appears to be in danger. “Thankfully, so far we’ve only had responses with people offering up spare bedrooms and other assistance and no responses from anyone with any flooding issues,” he said.

Houston Cougars on Campus

On Thursday, UT welcomed the Houston Cougars football team to campus. To escape the storm, the Cougars relocated to Austin and have been sharing practice facilities with the Longhorns. Although they planned to stay just a couple of days, the team will remain in Austin until they are told it is safe to return to Houston.

“We decided in the end to to relocate our football team, at least for this weekend and maybe early into next week, into Austin and practice at the facilities at The University of Texas,” Houston’s vice president of athletics Hunter Yurachek told Fox26. “I called [Texas athletics director] Mike Perrin [Sunday night,] and without hesitation Mike said ‘absolutely.‘”

Damage at Marine Science Institute

In Port Aransas, the Marine Science Institute experienced serious damage due to the storm. Crews are on site today at MSI to assess damages and begin cleanup. Campus operations at MSI are suspended indefinitely.

Here’s the most recent statement from UT President Greg Fenves.

We will update with more details as the story unfolds.


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