Duke University Marine Lab reopened four dormitories damaged by Hurricane Florence. Photo by Natalie Rodriguez MEM'20


BEAUFORT, N.C – Duke University Marine Lab welcomed back last week 33 residential undergraduate students who were displaced by Hurricane Florence.

For the past six weeks, the students had been living off campus while dormitories damaged by the storm were being repaired. Twenty of the students are from Duke while the remaining 13 undergrads are studying at the nearby UNC Institute for Marine Sciences.

Marine Lab Director Andy Read was glad to welcome the students back to campus.

“It’s great to be back to normal,” he said. “Our undergraduate students are a central part of our community and it’s great to have them back on the island.”

The students were evacuated on Sept. 11, prior to Florence’s arrival, and spent two weeks on Duke’s main campus in Durham, before returning to their temporary accommodations on the coast when classes resumed at the Marine Lab on Oct. 1.

Rainwater entered several dorms after the storm caused minor roof damage. Roofs were replaced and repairs are now complete to four dorm buildings.

“Repairs are continuing to other buildings damaged by the storm, but we are now back to being fully operational,” said Read. “We’re thankful for all the hard work by Duke Facilities Management, Marine Lab staff and local contractors to get our students back so soon.”