Hurricane season has officially begun for the Savannah area.
Hurricane Dorian is a vicious Category 5 storm that has formed in the Atlantic on August 24.
When tracks indicated a path up the Florida coast to Savannah, schools including Savannah State University enacted their emergency protocols for hurricanes.
On Sept. 1, Savannah State sent out mass emails and text messages describing emergency evacuations for students in the residential facilities. Classes were moved to the online system Desire2Learn, and the campus was shut down.
However, many students did not want to leave. Akia Jones, a junior at Savannah State, was concerned with the possible evacuation. “I’m not going home until they make us. I [would] rather stay here honestly. I don’t think anybody wants to go home.”
On Sunday, Sept. 1, Savannah State informed students of the dormitory closures, which would take place Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. This followed the Chatham Emergency Management Agency's evacuation orders, which started on Monday, as well.
Students did not take this well. Many complained about getting notified at the last minute and having to attend classes online during the time. Additionally, some parents did not like the idea, as well.
Akia Jones’ mother, Shayla Jones, had a few issues with the evacuation. “I don’t understand why the school told these students a day before. What if some parents aren’t able to drive three or four hours at the last minute to get their kids? Then what?”
Students who could not evacuate were told to contact their residence hall director. The university sent students to two other USG schools during the evacuation, as was done in past years.
While Savannah State is evacuating, other colleges are not. Chyna Bellamy, a junior at Georgia State University, explained what the procedures are at her school. “We’re actually not leaving. They have us staying here. They sent out emails saying that they’ll track the storm but I doubt we’ll be evacuating.” The evacuation of Savannah State students is still going on.
With Dorian expected to hit Savannah on Sept. 4-5, the evacuation was extended until Sept. 6 until further notice.