UPDATE: Do NOT drink or use water; campus closed until further notice

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Due to the ongoing water emergency in Orange County and the University’s concern for the safety of students and employees, the campus will remain in Condition 3 – classes cancelled; offices closed – until further notice. Only mandatory employees must report to or remain at work.

The Orange County Health Department ordered local residents to NOT use water from the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) until further notice because it may not be safe.

Under this “Do Not Drink” order, only bottled water is recommended for all water needs including flushing toilets, washing hands and cooking. Boiling water is NOT recommended.

The order also applies to local restaurants. County officials made public statements late this afternoon suggesting the emergency likely will extend at least well into this weekend. The shortage is limited to the OWASA service area.

Water is available in northern Orange, Durham and other neighboring counties.

This morning, OWASA announced a severe water shortage and low pressure in the service area caused by a water main break and an unrelated facility issue. Please continue to visit the health department website and OWASA website  for the latest information. Other local governments, including the Town of Chapel Hill, have declared a state of emergency, and local schools, like UNC-Chapel Hill, closed early.
Conditions on Campus

University officials are coordinating closely with Orange County and OWASA officials to ensure the campus response continues to place the highest priority on the safety and welfare of students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors.

All University operations remain temporarily suspended, including classes and business in offices.

Campus housing officials are communicating directly by email with residential students and continue to encourage them to leave campus for the weekend if they are able. Community offices will remain open as normal. The University has arranged for portable toilets to be placed near residence and dining halls. They began arriving late this afternoon and will continue to be delivered tonight. The port-o-johns will include light stanchions for safety as it gets dark. Housing officials also will distribute bottled water at the Rams Head Dining Hall during the hours it is open. Additional American With Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant port-o-johns also will be delivered.

Carolina Dining Services is operating, but on limited hours due to the water emergency. Rams Head Dining Hall has reopened to serve dinner tonight until 8 p.m. Rams Head Market is open until 9 p.m. Please continue to check http://menus.dining.unc.edu/ for up- to-date hours of operation. Granville Towers dining hall will be serving meals throughout the weekend; Granville residents should consult the Agora website for details.

Campus Health Services will be open for acute care services only until 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

All non-essential events on Friday night and Saturday scheduled on campus are cancelled.

The men’s basketball game with Notre Dame scheduled for Saturday in Chapel Hill has been postponed to Sunday, Feb. 5th, at 1 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. For details about tickets and logistics, refer to http://goheels.com/.

Employees are reminded of the University’s Adverse Weather and Emergency Event Policy. Refer to https://hr.unc.edu/benefits/leave-holidays/weather-emergency/.

Orange County residents with questions about the water shortage may contact Orange County emergency officials at (919) 245-6111, get updates on Twitter at @ocncemergency, and sign up for updates by texting OWASAWATER to 888777.

UNC-Chapel Hill will post updates on alertcarolina.unc.edu, unc.edu, and social media channels. (See below). The campus community can expect another message by mid-day Saturday.

UNC uses three main adverse weather and emergency event operating conditions:  Condition 1 (open), Condition 2 (classes canceled; offices open) or Condition 3 (classes canceled; offices closed). Reports of state government closings do not apply to the University. The University generally announces adverse weather news on www.unc.edu, the campus information sources listed below, and through the news media. Unless a change is announced, the University always operates under Condition 1 – regular schedule.

Information Sources

When the University’s operating status changes, campus communications will include:

  • An email, website post and, if conditions warrant, a text message from Alert Carolina, http://www.alertcarolina.unc.edu. You must be signed up to receive an Alert Carolina text message.
  • Posts on the University’s homepage, www.unc.edu, amplified via official social media accounts including @UNC, @Alert_UNCCH (for parents, family, Chapel Hill residents and friends) and @UNC_HR on Twitter.
  • Adverse Weather and Emergency Phone Line: (919) 843-1234. You may call this number to hear recorded announcements about campus operations.
  • UNC Transportation and Parking for information including parking lot conditions and the status of Point-to-Point shuttle operations. Refer to http://move.unc.edu.
  • Area news media websites.
  • Chapel Hill Transit also posts adverse weather news and routes and schedules. Refer to http://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/news-events/emergency/adverse-weather-updates