B-CU students recall unnerving hurricane experience; glad to be back in school

BY GREG LEWIS
DAYTONA TIMES

Bethune-Cookman University students returned to classes on Wednesday after being closed because of Hurricane Irma.

The university issued a mandatory campus evacuation order for Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. All classes were canceled and off-campus shelter arrangements were made for students who couldn’t return to their hometowns.

‘A little rocky’
Aniya Hardee was one of the students glad to be back in school. Like most Floridians, the Lakeland native endured a stressful week before and during the hurricane.

“My experience through this hurricane was a little rocky, but I didn’t lose faith in God’s plan,’’ the freshman criminal justice major told the Daytona Times.

“I am really excited to get back on campus, just to stay around positive people and get back to my purpose.”

Evacuated to Georgia
Adam Farley Jr., a senior majoring in computer information systems, went home to Georgia to be closer to his family in attempt to avoid Hurricane Irma.

“I evacuated to Macon, Georgia, back home with my family. I also took three of my organization siblings along with me to avoid them being stuck without power, low water, or any harm from storm damages.”

“I’m very excited to return back to my dorm and to the campus. Not only to complete work, but also to enjoy the rest of the fall semester such as the (Florida) Classic and Homecoming.”

‘We got lucky’
Although many Floridians were able to evacuate from the Daytona Beach, others stuck it out in the city.

Daytona Beach native Robert C. Johnson said his family endured some harsh conditions during the storm.

Johnson said his parents decided not to evacuate because of the number of animals the family owns. They stayed in Daytona and prepared for the worst-case scenario.

“My experience during the hurricane was pretty brutal for my specific area in Harbor Oaks.

My house was shaking and the winds were rattling my windows,’’ Johnson said.

“No specific property of mine was destroyed. However, we did see the water come over the wall and started to put our valuables in waterproof bags. The water didn’t get too high, but it did eat away our road. The only thing that was completely damaged was our ceiling, which we thought the roof was for sure going to get ripped off. We got lucky.”

Intern Greg Lewis is a B-CU mass communications student.

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