Hurricane season in full swing: Ian’s impact on campus during Family Weekend


Photo by Jacob Hensley

A tree on Hackler Golf Course leans over students house during the hurricane.

Hurricane season is officially back, and CCU students bunkered down for the first major hurricane of the year. Hurricane Ian was expected to hit South Carolina the worst on Friday, Sept. 30.

This past weekend was also Family Weekend at Coastal. An email sent out on Wednesday from University Marketing and Communications announced all university events were canceled for Friday. The email also said classes would be redirected to online instruction on Friday as the University predicted tree damage and flooding as Ian hit South Carolina.

Hurricane Ian shocked Americans when it hit Florida as a category 4 hurricane. The storm had slowed down when it hit South Carolina as a category 1. Originally, South Carolina expected a tropical storm, but it was classified as a category 1 hurricane as it gained momentum after it left Florida in ruins.

University Housing also sent out an email during the week on ways to prepare for the hurricane. Students were advised to remove all items from their balconies, stay indoors and put together an emergency supply kit. The email advised students to seek shelter in their bathroom or closet, which are the safest locations in case of a hurricane or tornado.

Coastal Club and University Place residents, located off of S.C. 544, lost power on Friday just a few minutes past 3 p.m. The Surfside and Myrtle Beach area along the coast severely flooded. At least five different piers were destroyed during the storm including the Cherry Grove, Pawley’s Island, Apache and Sea Cabin piers.

Emergency Management Director Carissa Medeiros said campus fared well during the storm.

“A few trees fell here and there as well as some minor building damage when it comes to roof leaks but nothing too bad,” Medeiros said.

Sophomore Riley Davidson is a resident of Pawley’s Island and was at her home when the storm hit. She said she was fortunate only a few tree limbs hit her house, however, the Pawley’s Island Pier collapsed in the storm and other.

“I got really lucky compared to past hurricanes,” Davidson said. “We didn’t lose power, but my dad and I actually went out after the storm and the storm surge had come up over the highway and Pawleys Island. The island itself was completely flooded.”

Most of the students’ concerns were about how the weather would affect Family Weekend as relatives traveled to Conway.

“Some parents reached out to ask what the emergency plan will be for their child when the time comes,” Saneywongse Lemar, information specialist for CHANT411, said.

According to, about 55.58% of students are from out-of-state. Those from the north do not have many experiences with hurricanes such as Ian. Not knowing what to do to prepare left some students worried.

CHANT411 received many questions about what to expect. Jayda Taylor, information specialist, said many of them were in regards to the tailgate and the football game. Th ough, some students were more worried about the time spent with their families rather than the hurricane itself. As Coastal approaches midterms, Family Weekend allowed students to see their parents and introduce them to Conway.

Ed Piotrowski, chief meteorologist for WPDE News, said Saturday looked better than what Conway saw on Friday in hopes of another Chanticleer win.

“There could be a few morning showers but there should be more sunshine, so Coastal Football should not have problems,” Piotrowski said.

To receive alerts for more information concerning future hurricanes, students are advised to sign up for CCU Alerts. To sign up, visit the University’s website at where students can attach their email address and phone number to receive notifications. Parents and guardians of students can also be alerted.