UNC – Chapel Hill has agreed to operate a “mega shelter” on university ground as Hurricane Florence is devastating portions of North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper announced the new shelter at a briefing on Friday evening.

Shelters have been opened across North Carolina, both for local individuals escaping flood-prone areas and for evacuees from North Carolina’s coast. The first of these “mega shelters” was opened at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum where Wake Forest University’s men’s basketball team plays home games.

North Carolina Emergency Management director Mike Sprayberry said that the shelter would be opening on Saturday.

The shelter will be housed at the Friday Center.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt issued a statement on the shelter Friday night:

“It is a privilege to come together, welcome our neighbors across the state and help however we can. We are grateful to the thousands of emergency management officials and others who have been responding during the storm, and for our own University staff, including those at the Friday Center, who will open its doors to North Carolinians in their time of need.”