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Elon Students Escape Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas last Friday, dumping rain and wind throughout the weekend. The storm was classified as a Category 4 Hurricane that caused fatalities, flooding, and housing damage. In preparation for this record storm, Elon University emailed their students recommending evacuation and closed the school from Thursday Sept. 13 through Sunday Sept. 17. John Dooley, Vice President of Student Life, reported via email that 1,400 students decided to stay on campus while many chose to evacuate. I spoke with two Elon students, Cassie and Bri, about their experience during the hurricane.

                                                                                           Hurricane Florence approaching the Carolinas. (Photo via NPR).

                                                                An Image of Elon’s Alamance fountain with stormy clouds above. (Photo via Elon University Twitter).

                                                                                 A radar shot showing rain hitting the Elon area (Photo via Elon University Twitter).

Q. Did you decide to evacuate? If yes, where did you go and how did you get there?


Cassie: “Yes, I decided to go home to Boston. Some of my friends on my floor also decided to go home to Massachusetts and Connecticut so we all drove home together. We evacuated Tuesday night and returned back to campus Monday night. The drive took 14 hours each way!”


Bri: “Yes I decided to evacuate. I went to Pittsburg, where I grew up, to see my friends. I drove with three other students from Elon who I also went to high school with.”


Q. What did you do during your days off?


Cassie: “At home I went to visit my old high school to see my younger friends and watch my school’s soccer game. Over the weekend I also visited some friends who went to college in Massachusetts at Babson and Holy Cross. While at home, I got to spend time with my younger brother and parents. My family got to eat a couple dinners together as well as go out to a nice breakfast.”


Bri: “At home I stayed with my best friend’s family, caught up with friends from high school, went to the gym and did homework. Even though I wasn’t at school, my professors still emailed us assignments.”


Q. Were you scared for the impact of the hurricane on the school? On the state?


Cassie: “The reports on what category the storm was kept changing. At one point when the storm was reported as a Category 5, I was concerned to stay at school and the damage that could have occurred. Eventually hearing that it was a tropical storm that only dropped 5 inches of rain on campus made me feel better about returning. I was saddened to see the impact on the rest of the state.”


Bri: “I was scared for the state and the impact on the Carolinas. My parents now live on Kiawah Island in South Carolina so I was worried that my home would get destroyed. Thankfully that did not happen. I do feel bad for the people’s houses that have been [destroyed].”


Q. How does it feel to be back?


Cassie: “I’m glad to be back! I missed my friends and the routine I was beginning to get into. It was weird to leave campus after only being here for three weeks.”


Bri: “I was ready to come back to campus. It was a bit weird to be at home and feel like I was still stuck in high school.”




Communications Fellow at Elon University, class of 2022. Roll Phoenix!
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