Weather News

Winthrop hosting evacuated College of Charleston students as Hurricane Dorian nears

Due to Hurricane Dorian, Winthrop University will host Charleston students this week.

As of Monday, College of Charleston closed the campus and canceled all classes and school activities. The decision followed Gov. Henry McMaster’s evacuation order for coastal counties.

Winthrop is hosting more than 110 College of Charleston students, according to a release from the university. The students arrived in Rock Hill around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Winthrop has set up cots and mattresses in the Richardson Ballroom in the DiGiorgio Campus Center, the release states. College of Charleston residence life members are accompanying the students and will stay with them in Rock Hill.

“Fortunately it looks like the storm is going to miss us completely at this point so we’re in a good position to be able to house some of the students from a place like the College of Charleston that may get hit fairly strongly by the storm,” Winthrop President Dan Mahony said Tuesday. “I think we’re well prepared for them to be here.”

The students are expected to stay through at least part of the weekend, depending on storm conditions.

“I’m really amazed and impressed that they were so prepared and ready to open the door and let us in and had all this stuff prepared for us,” said College of Charleston freshman Sam Naradowski, 19. “It’s definitely been a good experience.”

As of Tuesday morning, the now Category 2 hurricane was expanding in size.

Forecasters warn the storm could bring heavy rain and flash floods to parts of the Carolinas this week.

This is the second time in two years Winthrop has hosted displaced students due to a hurricane. In 2017, the university hosted College of Charleston students who evacuated during Hurricane Irma.

Mahony said the most Winthrop has hosted since he has been at the university was 70 students.

“This is a bigger group than I’ve seen,” he said.

The College of Charleston women’s soccer team will play Winthrop in Rock Hill Wednesday. The game was moved to Rock Hill due to the storm, the release states.

Earlier this week, the City of Rock Hill opened the RV lot at the BMX track to Hurricane Dorian evacuees. The lot is adjacent to the BMX Supercross Track at 1307 Riverwalk Parkway.

The 43 RV sites are available for free on a first come, first served basis. Water and electric hook-ups are available. For more information, 803-326-2441 or 803-242-4424.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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