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Hurricane not stopping ECU football game

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Oct 26 2012 06:24:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 26 2012 10:26:30 PM CDT
GREENVILLE -

As clouds rolled in over Dowdy-Ficklen stadium Friday afternoon, the hurricane team at East Carolina University got together to talk about the possible effects of the storm.

ECU's Enivronmental Manager, Tom Pohlman, said this is normal procedure for them during any kind of major weather emergency.

"We'll assess the situation and bring our folks together and let everyone know what's going on and talk about issues and questions," Pohlman said.

There are a lot of ceremonies planned during the ECU versus Navy football game Saturday.  Lieutenant Chris Sutton with ECU Police Department said if the weather gets bad, it may affect things like the pre-game flyover.

"If the rain and wind is driving and it's not appropriate to recognize [the military] at that time, then that could impact our recognition efforts during the half time of the military appreciation game," Sutton said.

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, one of the things ECU Police are doing is closing down the lower lot near Minges Coliseum. The lot will not close until after the game is over; however, it will remain closed until there's no longer a risk of flooding.

The commuter lot at the bottom of College Hill will also be shut down because of flood concerns.

However, rain alone won't affect the pigskin at the stadium. It's flashes of lightning that could bring play to an abrupt stop.

"If the lightning gets within 10 and eight miles, then we have to make a decision to stop play and we need to evacuate - not just the players off the field, but also the fans out of the stands," he said.

However, Sutton said Mother Nature isn't going to put a damper on the spirit of this game.

"Playing Navy during military appreciation game is as good as you can set up a military appreciation event. It's just unfortunate that we're dealing with a hurricane," Sutton said.

The hurricane team is planning to meet again Saturday morning to discuss any possible changes to the weather pattern.

Sutton said tailgating will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The game is slated to start at 3:30 p.m.