GREENWICH VILLAGE — NYU and Columbia were preparing to welcome incoming classes of freshmen this weekend, but instead the schools are battening down the hatches.
Both universities announced Thursday afternoon that they have postponed by a day their planned freshman move-ins on Sun., Aug. 28, because of Hurricane Irene.
"We believe this is the best course for ensuring the safety of our new and returning students," NYU spokesman John Beckman said in a statement.
"We have begun the process of notifying students and families, and alerting city agencies and neighbors to this change," he said.
Columbia's student affairs division released a similar statement.
"Given the unpredictability of the strength and direction of the storm, the University and the City must prepare accordingly," the Columbia statement said.
All students are prohibited from moving into the dorms on Sunday.
The massive storm is expected to hit within 30 miles of the city Sunday as a Category 2 hurricane, according to AccuWeather. New York could get as much as a foot of rainfall and intense winds.
“We hope for the best, but prepare for the worst," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said about the storm at a press conference Thursday.