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MEAC football games postponed because of Hurricane Matthew

The storm’s wrath has forced the games to be rescheduled for late November

Hurricane Matthew continues to batter the eastern coast of Florida, disrupting lives up to the Carolinas, including schools and their athletics.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) confirmed Friday that two games postponed because of the storm would be played in November.

The Bethune-Cookman University-South Carolina State University and Morgan State University-Savannah State University football contests, originally scheduled for Saturday, will now both be played on Nov. 26, because of the weather threat posed by Hurricane Matthew and the states of emergency issued by Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Other games at historically black college and universities affected by the storm include the following:

In the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, two Saturday games were moved up.

Visiting Bowie State University played and beat Chowan University on Thursday night, 21-14, and Elizabeth City State University is scheduled to play at Virginia State University at 6 p.m. on Friday.

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference postponed Thursday night’s game between SIAC member Albany State University and Charleston Southern University, as the Charleston, South Carolina, campus is in an area under high alert. The two schools are working to determine whether the game will be made up later this season or rescheduled for the 2017 season.

News reports said the storm had caused the deaths of more than 500 people in the Caribbean, most of them in Haiti, even before it began to pummel parts of Florida on Friday.

Kickoff times will be announced shortly for both contests, the league said.

“I would like to commend the officials from the four institutions affected by Hurricane Matthew for working together to facilitate the change in dates,” MEAC commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said. “Our top priority is the well-being and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, athletic staff, ancillary units and our fans.”

Meanwhile, more than a million people along the Atlantic Coast have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas and to seek higher ground.

On Friday, the Category 3 storm was wreaking havoc on Daytona Beach, Florida, the home of Bethune-Cookman, and was moving slowly up the coast, with Jacksonville, Florida, next in its sights.

Most schools, government and business operations — except for some law enforcement and rescue workers — were shut down amid the storm, described as one of the deadliest in decades along the East Coast, which has seen its share of storms in recent years.

David Squires is an educator and digital journalist who lives in the Charlotte area and teaches journalism at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro. He has covered HBCU sports for several decades, first with the St. Petersburg Times and later as editor-in-chief of the original BlackVoices.com and BVQ magazine. He has also worked in news and sports in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Fort Worth and Hampton Roads. His passion is college basketball, and he is a die-hard Tar Heel -- born and bred.