Hurricane Florence started out as a category four over the Atlantic Ocean with windspeeds up to 115 miles per hour. Florence weakened over time to a category two by the time it hit the Carolina’s coastline. However, according to the National Weather Service the hurricane remains “extremely dangerous.”
The path of the hurricane changed its course right before it hit the coast. Florence took a last-minute shift south, lining up to affect Georgia more than previously expected. It had potential to drop tremendous amount of rain, as much as 40 inches in some places.
The hurricane was directed straight towards the line between the Carolina’s. Over 1.5 million people were frantically boarding up their houses, offices and workplaces and pack their belongings to evacuate.
Wesleyan alumna Holland Sharon (’16) is a student at College of Charleston in South Carolina. She said, “My classes were all cancelled starting the week of the 10th, everyone has been evacuated and told to remain off campus until we know more about the damage from Hurricane Florence.” The College of Charleston has boarded up all the building, dorms and other historical moments on and off campus.
Once Florence hit the coastline, the category two hurricane was coming in at 105 miles per hour wind speeds. The storm stretched to covering the top half of Georgia through Virginia. The eye of the hurricane traveled through North Carolina. North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooped warned that “disaster is at the doorstep.” The whole state was told to board up to protect their belongings and highly suggested to evacuate the area.
Wesleyan alumna Kelsey Rappe (’18), a student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had classes cancelled and several evacuation notices. Rappe said, “We were highly recommended to leave the Chapel Hill area for our safety, but as it was not in a direct zone of the hurricane, we were not forced to evacuate, just encouraged. However, many students did choose to go back home in the wake of the hurricane, to join friends their homes and stay safe. A minority of students chose to hunker down in their dorms and wait out the storm. So, there are some people still on campus, but many of campus operations have been suspended.”
Wesleyan alumni at the University of Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina have been had classes cancelled and many have evacuated. Alumna Kylie Reed (’16) said, “Only a few of my classes have been cancelled, while all of the other schools have been cancelled until further notice. I feel like I’m back at Wesleyan reliving the glory days.”
The metro Atlanta area was hit by tons of rain, but there was no other drastic damage to our area. In the areas where the hurricane hit hard there was tremendous damage and extreme flooding and mudslides.
Bible Department Chair Glenn Archer said, “It is always so sad when we experience a natural disaster at this magnitude. It’s been the one thing that has dominated the news and social media, as it should be a reminder to pray for all of those families who are suffering.
Senior Jordyn Shackford said, “There has been so much rain for us here in Atlanta, I can’t even imagine the people being directly affected by Hurricane Florence.” The victims of those in the path of the hurricane were in great danger and have a long road of recovery. Everyone is hands on deck helping those in need.
The Red Cross and other organizations have been preparing for damage control before the hurricane hit land. Natural disaster is a devastating occurrence, but circumstances like these bring communities together in focus of recovery.