Cathedral grad among Florence evacuees

University of South Carolina undergrad now in Cincinnati

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Photo submitted

Katherine DeWeese ’16 provided this image of her sorority at the University of South Carolina. That house of the rest of the campus is closed on Sept. 13 due to Hurricane Florence.

Annika Garwood, Sports Editor

As Hurricane Florence reaches the East Coast as a powerful Category 2 storm, residents, tourists and college students are being evacuated from a potentially catastrophic event.

This is no different for Katherine DeWeese ’16, a current student at the University of South Carolina. She said in an interview conducted over the phone on Sept. 12 that she had left the campus and was now taking refuge in Cincinnati.

“They haven’t officially evacuated the campus, but they basically said it would be smarter to leave than to stay because there are so many people that are evacuating from the coastal towns and it creates a lot of traffic. So they canceled our classes from (Sept. 11) to (Sept. 15) so we would have enough time to evacuate and get out,” DeWeese said. On Sept. 13, the college’s website did list the status of the campus as closed. 

She said that there was a lot of concern on campus when the students and faculty realized they were in the path of a hurricane. DeWeese works on campus, and when she and her co-workers found out about the evacuation they were panicked and confused. “You never know with a hurricane when it hits land exactly where it is going to go,” she said. 

Although most people would be scared when they first hear about a hurricane, DeWeese thought it was ironic. “This is now the fourth year in a row this has happened. We aren’t on the coast, but we just get a lot of rain and flooding with the winds of a hurricane, so it’s not as destructive for us. It’s kind of like a second fall break for everyone on campus,” she said. Columbia, the site of the University of South Carolina, is located in the middle of the state about 140 miles from the ocean. 

Since many students and faculty might have family and friends who reside on the coast, DeWeese said to call them and make sure they are OK and have found safe shelter. “Many people were evacuating because of the hurricane, but many others chose to stay. Depending on how it hard it hits, people will need help rebuilding their homes and communities. A lot of us were too young to remember Hurricane Katrina and its effects, but this is a similar situation.

DeWeese said, “They probably will be asking for donations of things like bottled water and that kind of stuff, so just be on the lookout for the Red Cross or other organizations. This is definitely going to be something that they will be asking for in the near future.”