Clinton College issues mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Florence

Colleges canceling classes due to Florence

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - Clinton College has issued a mandatory evacuation of its more than 200 students ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall Friday morning.

The University in Rock Hill began the evacuations at noon on Tuesday. President Dr. Lester A. McCorn says in previous years, the school has made evacuations optional for students.

However, with Florence predicted to be a Category 4 storm, they decided to take extra precautions.

“We have students from all over and of course there were concerns from parents, as well as students about what to do during this storm, and we thought it would be easier to alleviate the stress and chaos that might emerge in an evacuation situation. So we decided to let the students go early,” Dr. McCorn said.

McCorn says students who do not have a place to go are allowed to stay on campus. The residence halls and the cafeteria will remain open for them. He says if inclement weather makes it dangerous for students to stay, they will provide them a place to stay off-campus.

Students leave Clinton College due to Hurricane Florence
Students leave Clinton College due to Hurricane Florence (Kristi O'Connor | WBTV)

Jerry Gainey is a parent of a Clinton College freshman. He and his son are from Florence County, SC. He says they will be staying with relatives for the remainder of the storm since they cannot go back home.

“We’ve been through the midst of it [Hurricane Hugo],” Gainey said. “Thank God we are still here. I always have concerns because it can be so damaging, but we just pray for the best.”

Clinton College will resume classes on Monday.

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