Campus Life, Cover, Environment, Hurricane, News

Last students on campus try to find a way out

Freshman Beatrice Fontana from Italy sits by Lake Osceola on Sept. 7. She is one of the last students walking around campus before Hurricane Irma approaches South Florida. Isabella Cueto // Editor In Chief

On Thursday, Sept. 7, around midday, Beatrice Fontana sits by Lake Osceola. Her shoes are off, her phone is a few feet away. She’s one of the handful of students seen on campus ahead of Hurricane Irma.

While Fontana was sitting by the lake, the university announced it would be evacuating on-campus residents to a university shelter about five miles from the Coral Gables campus.

Fontana is from Italy, so finding a flight home was out of the question. Flights were up to $3,000 when she checked the other day, so she bought a Friday morning flight to New York City. Fontana said she hasn’t received a confirmation, so if her flight gets canceled, she’s planning to stay with a friend in South Beach. The Miami Beach area has been evacuated, but Fontana says her family friend will stay in her hurricane-resistant high rise building.

The experience of preparing for a hurricane – hitting roadblocks and creating a plan b – is completely new and a nerve-wracking experience for her, she says. It’s something she didn’t expect when she started at the University of Miami less than a month ago.

“Even before, I was in a culture shock because everything is so different, and now this on top … ,” she said.

In Hecht residential hall, Bailey Grogan is zipping up her suitcase. On her dorm room door, there’s a small white board used for messages or notes. Today, it says, “F**k off Irma.”

The white board that hangs on Bailey Grogan’s door has some words for Hurricane Irma. Grogan was packing up to evacuate campus on Sept. 7. Isabella Cueto // Editor In Chief

 

Grogan was able to find a $500 flight to Boston, close to her home, after spending 7 hours online looking for tickets. She said she has never experienced a hurricane before either, and at first, she was in shock at how strong of a storm Irma is.

“I didn’t really believe it,” she said, “It’s kind of surreal.”

Posters in Hecht residential hall let students know of a mandatory floor meeting on Sept. 7. The university administration announced Thursday morning that students still on campus by Friday would be transported to a student shelter. Isabella Cueto // Editor In Chief

A floor above, roommates Christian Russell and Dillon Yu are packing up to leave. Yu was able to book a flight before the mad rush, but Russell had to pay $1,500 for a roundtrip flight to New York City. Russell was in New York City during Hurricane Sandy, and had to evacuate his apartment building because of flooding.

Both said they were relieved to go home to concerned family members, but unsure of if campus would survive the record-setting wind speeds.

“I’m honestly worried that campus is going to get rocked,” Yu said.

By Thursday, there were fewer than 140 students left on campus, Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely said. The evacuation to the hurricane shelter is scheduled for Friday afternoon. Residents will receive more information at mandatory floor meetings on Thursday night.

September 7, 2017

Reporters

Isabella Cueto

Isabella Cueto can be reached via email at editor@themiamihurricane.com and through Twitter at @isabellacueto


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

Part four of a five-part series on UM’s defense with the start of fall camp a month away: Cornerback ...

Part three of a five-part series with the Canes' view of every player on defense: Some insight ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

University of Miami head football coach Mark Richt was among the 20 coaches selected to the preseaso ...

Miami opens the Wooden Legacy against La Salle on Thanksgiving Day in Fullerton, Calif. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.