UNCW issued a mandatory campus evacuation Tuesday, with all students leaving campus by noon on Thursday. University officials said they will find every student a place to go off campus if need be. Faculty and staff offered to host those who can't make it home before the storm.
Students said that they hadn't realized the hurricane's possible effects until the university issued the evacuation.
"Being from the north, hurricanes are very new, my only experience with a hurricane was Hurricane Sandy. So hearing that the school was being evacuated and that South Carolina was in a state of emergency was kind of eye opening. I didn't know what to expect so I did a ton of research," said Julia Denigris, a UNCW freshman.
This weekend is the students' fall break, but not everyone was planning a trip home.
"I know a few people up north who now have to now drive 11 hours now because they couldn't get flights out in time, and they're carpooling with five or six people crammed in the car and driving," said Denigris.
Before leaving, students readied their dorms for any potential damage that may occur.
"Water definitely comes in the windows, so getting everything away from the windows, (if) the power goes out our mini fridges will leak, on top of unplugging everything, if we have valuables putting them up high just in case we do have some flooding," said Denigris.
UNCW has not yet said when they will have students return to campus.
"I think a lot of people that come here are really easy going and we live at the beach so you kind of expect these kinds of things and you're prepared, and it's worth it," said student Caroline Fuchs.
Copyright 2016 WECT. All rights reserved