Hurricane Florence is forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane near Wilmington, North Carolina bringing potentially catastrophic flooding and strong winds to the region.
“We wish all of our WordCamp Wilmington enthusiasts a minimum of impact from Hurricane Florence,” Helen Rittersporn, one of the event’s organizers said.
“On behalf of my fellow Organizers for 2018 WordCamp Wilmington, we are looking forward to seeing everyone in 2019!”
Safety of Attendees, Speakers, and Sponsors Takes Priority
Peter La Fond, one of the event’s lead organizers, says the decision to cancel the event has been mentally taxing to him and the team.
“From the beginning, the decision making was really hard,” he said. “How we made the decision about this was very fluid. The entire team has been texting back and forth every several hours on various decisions over many days.
“We ended up having to set thresholds in advance for canceling. Then on Monday morning, we started to get inquiries and cancellations of attendees, vendors and speakers so we had to make a call.”
Although a lot hours were spent by volunteers to organize the event, speaker, attendee, and sponsor safety took priority.
“The organizing team is totally bummed about canceling the event considering the amount of effort we put into organizing it,” La Fond said. “However, we’re more concerned about the safety and security of our family and friends. Especially those who chose to stay.”
Those who purchased tickets are eligible for a refund. But due to evacuations and the length of time the storm is expected wreak havoc in the area, organizers will not be able to fulfill refund requests until after the storm has passed.
This is the second time a tropical weather system has postponed or cancelled a WordCamp in the US. In 2016, WordCamp Orlando was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.