With Hurricane Sandy projected to be one of the region's worst storms in history, we're staying in touch with several department and campus officials to keep you up-to-date on what University Police, the Department of Transportation Services, Dining Services, Facilities Management and the administration are doing throughout the storm. We'll be providing updates as we get them, so check back regularly for the next few days and follow us on Twitter @thedbk.
11:06 a.m.: As weather conditions are fair, Shuttle-UM will resume service to the Metro at 2:00 p.m. today, according to a university alert. Evening routes will also resume today.
10:50 a.m.: The university will be open tomorrow, according to an email from Provost Mary Ann Rankin at 10:12 a.m.
The campus experienced minor flooding but power was not lost, Rankin wrote. University Police patrol units are operating normally.
Rankin advised using caution and planning for extra commuting time, because some roads around College Park may be affected by the storm.
10:15 p.m.: Though the worst of the storm has yet to hit the area, Dining Services is determined to open its dining halls Wednesday.
There are currently 80 Dining Services employees staying in local hotels on Route 1 and 25 employees staying in university dining halls, according to Joe Mullineaux, Dining Services senior associate director.
The department has hired four drivers to transport staff to and from the hotels, and their homes if staff live close to the campus. Mullineaux will be staying on campus all night in the campus emergency operation center along with three other assistant directors of dining services to ensure that there are not any problems.
"We have an amazingly dedicated staff — over the years, we have never not opened," Mullineaux said. "We saw that some other campuses on the coast have closed their dining halls, but not us."
9:05 p.m.: University Police are collaborating with multiple agencies to provide services throughout the storm.
The emergency operations headquarters, a University Police collaboration with Resident Life, Facilities Management and other organizations, has been running out of the University Police station since 6 p.m. yesterday.
University Police spokesman Capt. Marc Limansky said major problems have not been reported yet. He advises students to keep inside, avoid driving and check for alerts. Police can be reached at 911 for emergencies and #3333 from cell phones.
7:50 p.m.: Stamp Student Union will be closed tomorrow, according to Stamp Associate Director Steve Gnadt.
Stamp officials will determine Wednesday's schedule once the university comes to a decision on whether to close Wednesday, Gnadt said.
4:15 p.m.: The university will be closed tomorrow, university President Wallace Loh announced. How are you passing the time? Tweet at us @thedbk with pictures.
2:50 p.m.: Cots and linens for non-students will be available in Ritchie Coliseum tonight, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Clement.
Students who need cots can find them in Eppley Recreation Center tonight.
2:45 p.m.: Facilities Management has had most of its essential staff working since this morning. Staff members will continue to stay active throughout the storm, said Facilities Management Associate Vice President Carlo Colella.
"We are making plans for staffing throughout the duration of the storm to monitor the needs of the campus," he said. "We are monitoring the weather and keeping up communication for any updates."
On-site staff are putting out more sandbags, locking up windows in various buildings, clearing leaves from drains and ensuring all necessary equipment — including emergency generators and vehicles — are fueled. No storm damage has yet been reported on the campus.
2:45 p.m.: A high wind warning is in effect for College Park from today until 8 p.m. tomorrow, said Jim Lee, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"The conditions will definitely deteriorate this afternoon and tonight," he said.
Sandy's winds are at 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 to 70 mph. The hurricane's strength is expected to intensify tonight, with gusts reaching 90 mph as the hurricane makes its landfall on the New Jersey coast. The Baltimore metro area is expected to receive 8 to 12 inches of rain.
Maryland's coast has already experienced extreme weather conditions; the Ocean City pier has extensive damages caused by strong waves and wind, according to The Baltimore Sun.
"It may seem like it's just a windy, rainy day out there, but it's going to get much worse as the day goes on," Lee said.
1:30 p.m.: For students applying to the university, the Nov. 1 priority deadline has been extended, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.
University President Wallace Loh tweeted at about 12:45 p.m., "#UMD Nov 1 admissions application deadline will be extended due to #Sandy. Check website for updates." Admissions officials have not announced the new deadline.
1:25 p.m.: The Department of Transportation Services, the Metro and the PG bus are not running today, according to an alert this morning.
8:25 p.m.: Wondering when you can get food from the diners and campus shops? Dining Services has posted all of its hours for Monday.
The dining halls will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; 251 North from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Commons Shop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; North Campus Snack ‘n’ Shop from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m.; and the 24 Shop will remain open for 24 hours, according to the department's website.
Adele's, Mulligan's, Stamp Student Union food court and other shops and cafes on the campus are closed Monday.
These hours are different than those typically mandated for inclement weather, according to the website, and apply only to "storms forecast for October, 2012."
8:20 p.m.: The University Health Center will be closed Monday, but will still offer urgent care services from 9 a.m. to noon, according to the health center's website. All other appointments are canceled.
According to the health center's inclement weather policy, the urgent care "will usually be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with limited services," with all other departments remaining closed. However, the policy stipulates "hours may vary depending on weather conditions."
7:05 p.m.: Rain will continue from Monday morning to Tuesday, with about 4 to 8 inches of rainfall and 20 mph winds, according to Steve Zubrick, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"The worst of Hurricane Sandy will be from Monday night into Tuesday, when it makes landfall," he said.
Zubrick predicts the storm will hit the coast of New Jersey on Monday night and move west toward Washington into Tuesday morning.
"Students should expect 50 to 70 mph winds during this time," Zubrick said. "Flooding, tree debris, power outages and cell phone and internet disruptions are very possible. Students should stay away from windows tomorrow afternoon into Tuesday."
5:15 p.m.: University officials announce that classes for tomorrow are canceled. Eppley Recreation Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, and students who need somewhere to sleep can spend the night there, Provost Mary Ann Rankin wrote in an email.
Shuttle-UM will not run commuter or evening service routes on Monday, according to the Department of Transportation Services. "Check #NextBus for weather-related service updates," DOTS tweeted at about 5:30 p.m.
We'll be providing live updates of the campus and city's status, so keep checking back.
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