Students ride out Matthew

By: Elijah McKinnis, Cody Dallas and Brandi Threatt
Oct 13, 2016

Hurricane Matthew impacted the lives of Claflin University students and their families on the South Carolina coast.

“It hit early Saturday morning around 6 a.m.,” junior Jordan Geddis said. “It got very windy, I mean extremely windy, and when it started to rain, I knew we weren’t going to be going anywhere soon.”

Geddis is from Charleston and was concerned about his family and their wellbeing back at home.

“I called later on, not immediately, but I did check in with my loved ones,” Geddis said. “My parents told me it flooded pretty badly and that a friend of mine had a huge oak tree fall on his house.”

Another Claflin student and Charleston resident, sophomore Angel Chedikai, left Orangeburg for her hometown of Charleston, where authorities had warned residents to evacuate prior to the storm.

“My mom is a nurse, so she had to work. So we didn’t evacuate. We just toughed it out, went grocery shopping, filled our cars up with gasoline and stocked up on flashlights and candles.”

The hurricane’s true effect did not become evident until daybreak.

“I spent a majority of my time playing games and sleeping,” Chedikai said. “So by the time I woke up the next day and looked, I realized we had floodwater 7 inches high and lots of downed trees.

“It was terrible. We were stuck inside for three days.”

On the Claflin campus, senior psychology major Nakia Avila said water flowed into her dorm room during the storm.

“The campus was without power for a whole 24 hours,” Avila said. “The only place that had power was the cafe. Everybody was in there, and never left.”

Sophomore Preston Williams was another of the many students who stayed on campus during the storm.

“I was really affected by the power outages,” Williams said. “Because of those power outages, I wasn’t able to finish some of my work like I wanted to.”

While the hurricane did take away power and other amenities from the students, it did have its moments.

“It was interesting to see some students walking around outside during the storm.” Williams said. “They were just walking around like it was a regular day.”

And there were lessons learned.

“Next time I have to make sure I get groceries before the storm,” Williams said. “I also got to make sure everything is charged in case the power goes out again.”

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