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  • Sydney Burgbacher

Coastal freshmen open up about fleeing Florence

Hurricane Florence has been a vivid topic on everyone’s mind since the day the entire school was told to evacuate.

On Sunday, Sep. 9, all on-campus students were put together and told that they were going to be given the opportunity to evacuate campus by Tuesday at 8 A.M. If not gone by that time, they would have to leave with campus housing to the designated evacuation spot being Clemson University.

There were several sources of transportation were used for Coastal students to leave. Many students left by plane or car but there were also several that took a bus or a train. Coastal shuttles left hourly to the airport to take students for their flights that were booked last minute. Coastal Carolina has students that come from all parts of the United States so not everyone was lucky enough to get all the way home. However, many Chant families were willing to open their homes to several students.

Kayla Smith from Gaithersburg, Md. opened up about how she and her family were going to ride out Florence.


“My family and I really talked it over and we weighed out all the pros and cons of going all the way home up north for the storm,” said Smith. “We realized it would just be better to stay with one of my roommates until we are allowed back to campus.”

At one point, there was a chance that Hurricane Florence could turn into a category 5. This was very frightening to the Class of 2022 since not many having experienced a storm this big before and being right in the line of it. Yes, there are many students that live all up and down the east coast but this would be the first while being a freshman here at Coastal. Not a lot of people really think about Storms like this when applying to the school or being enrolled in it but, Coastal is really close to the Coast.

The school took all the necessary steps in bringing light of the University’s decision to evacuate by contacting every individual by email, using the CCU alert, and getting everyone out safely.

Hannah Bennett, a freshman from northeastern Pennsylvania gave her thoughts on how Coastal Carolina handled the evacuation.

“I am deeply thankful that Coastal had the foresight to get students out of campus’ way before the storm hit,” said Bennett. “My mom and I will be driving the 12 hours together to come down to Myrtle and help with the cleanup that will be needed with all the destruction from the storm."

Before students left campus, they were told to take pictures of their belongings, take things off the floor, bring bikes into rooms, and take all valuables with them wherever they decided to go.

Shea from Montana said, “I picked everything up and put it on top of my bed, unplugged everything and brought with me all of my electronics, jewelry and expensive items."

As of Monday, Sep. 17, students have not been told when they can start making their way back to campus. Professors have been reaching out to let the students know of any work that should be done before returning or if there will be future make up days in order to get all of class work done before the semester end.

Plenty of freshman have already stated that they are ready to come back to campus and start back with classes.

Hannah Pritchard from Pittsburgh, Pa. talked about what she has been doing since campus evacuated.

“Right now, all we are doing is playing the waiting game but I can not wait to be back at Coastal,” said Pritchard.

Rianna Tremper from Lake Wylie, SC, which is about 175 miles from Conway and up near Rock Hill, talked about what she hopes to see once students return to campus.

“I’m hoping Coastal won’t get damaged because I love it so much down there,” said Tremper.

Colton Wilson from Maryland gave his thoughts about being displaced from campus because of Florence.

“I wish the storm didn’t happen,” said Wilson. “I would much rather be there catching up on classes and hanging with friends rather than being at home.”

Freshman parents were worried as well about students getting to safety whether it was going all the way home or staying with other families. While Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Tropical Storm on the morning of Friday, Sep. 14, that does not mean people should treat it any differently. For the time being, it is best to wait to hear from Coastal Carolina on their plans on when students can return to campus.

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