Hurricane Dorian Florida

Kristen Davis watches the high surf from a boardwalk overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, as winds from Hurricane Dorian blow the fronds of a palm tree in Vero Beach, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. 

WILMINGTON — Three UNC System campuses will shut down this week as Hurricane Dorian creeps up the Atlantic coast.

UNC-Wilmington will close for the week as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. UNC-Pembroke and East Carolina University will cancel classes later this week. 

UNCW has canceled in-person and online classes through Sunday and issued a mandatory evacuation order for all students. The campus will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and all athletic and other university-sponsored events are canceled through Sunday.

UNCW said it will send students who can't get home to both UNCG and UNC-Charlotte. A UNCG spokeswoman said UNCG is expecting to get 55 students from UNCW late Tuesday. They'll be housed and fed on campus this week.

UNCW took a direct hit last September from Hurricane Florence. The storm caused $140 million in damage to 80 percent of campus buildings. Its main science building remains closed for extensive renovations after it lost part of its roof and up to three feet of water pooled up inside. The storm also extensively damaged a 13-building student apartment complex that was already slated to be replaced.

UNC-Pembroke, another campus affected by Florence last September, will cancel classes starting at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

ECU said Tuesday that it won't hold classes after 3 p.m. Thursday or on Friday. Residence halls and dining halls will remain open, and students won't have to evacuate. The university said the Greenville area is under a tropical storm watch and expects sustained winds of 20 to 40 mph along with 2-4 inches of rain.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh said Tuesday morning that central North Carolina could see some wind and rain starting Wednesday night from Dorian, a Category 4 storm that sits about 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, Fla., as of 2 p.m. Tuesday. Tropical storm force winds are being felt in Florida, 175 miles from Dorian's eye.

The Triad is expected to see only a little rain and wind from the storm.

Areas east of Interstate 95 could get 2 to 6 inches of rain and tropical storm force winds of between 40 to 70 mph starting Wednesday night and continuing on Thursday, according to the weather service.

Wilmington and other coastal areas could get up to 15 inches of rain, hurricane-strength winds of at least 75 mph and isolated tornadoes. Forecasters say the storm could pick up speed as it moves up the coast, which means it won't drop as much rain as Florence did a year ago.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Saturday declared a state of emergency for North Carolina.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.​

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