Colleges in our are getting ready for the storm. The University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, Stetson and Florida Southern College have cancelled classes for the rest of the week.
At Florida Southern Wednesday, students were packing up and leaving just two weeks after the semester started. That’s because the school is requiring them to evacuate by Thursday at 5 p.m.
“We just decided actually about two hours ago that we were going to come home,” Samantha Zimmermann said.
Home for Samantha Zimmermann is all the way in Wisconsin. She looked for flights, but most of them were sold out, so she’s driving.
The college cancelled classes until next Thursday to give students time to leave before the possible storm and to get back.
Administrators said they're doing it just to be safe. Students who don't have a way home or a friend to stay with can stay on campus. The college has all the supplies they'd need, but most students are choosing to leave.
“Everyone's rushing around with suitcases, on their phones, trying to get flights, calling home, just crazy,” Nicole Santorella said.
She took an Uber from the University of Tampa, which has also cancelled classes for the remainder of the week. She's hitching a ride to Atlanta then flying to JFK.
“I ran in my room, just threw my laptop, my books in here,” she said. “I literally have no clothes with me. I just threw everything into my bag and left.”
It's hectic, but most students are glad they can get on the road now, rather than wait until it's too late.
If you have a child in grade school, there are closures across the bay area. Right now, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando County public schools districts are closed both Thursday and Friday. Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco and Polk schools will be closed Friday.