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UNC Wilmington Students Evacuate To UNC Greensboro Ahead Of Hurricane Dorian

Several students without another place to go, packed up and evacuated to UNCG's Kaplan Center.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Tuesday afternoon, 55 University of North Carolina Wilmington boarded a bus bound for UNC Greensboro, to weather the storm hundreds of miles from Hurricane Dorian's projected path. 

Most of those students are staying at UNCG's Kaplan Center, the recreation facility on campus. One of the gyms inside has been fitted with cots, blankets, snacks and charging ports. 

Wilmington students like Shannon Livingston are applauding the school for thinking ahead.

"I think that they're really on top of it, with hurricanes and evacuating students safely and quickly, and making the calls of whether or not we need to evacuate in the first place," she said. 

The UNCW senior hopped on the bus to meet up with her dad in Greensboro. From there, they drove back home to the Charlotte area - but she says, the setup at Kaplan is ideal for many students who aren't anywhere near home.

"I know that a lot of them are foreign exchange students," she said, "They seem pretty happy with the situation, and I think they're just happy that UNCW has a plan."

It's a plan they've tested at UNCG before, according to the Emergency Management Director Zach Smith. 

"We conducted a 'Hurricane Zephyr' exercise, or a catastrophic hurricane was simulated to impact Wilmington," he said. 

Back in 2017, they put the system to the test, by bringing actual UNCW students to the Triad. What they learned then will help give these students a more comfortable experience weathering the storm. 

"They are honorary Spartans for the week," Smith said, "We are going to treat them just like we do our students, and provide them all of the accommodations that we can. We want them to be able to continue their studies and offer them the space to do just that."

UNCG leaders say they're prepared to house their Wilmington counterparts for the foreseeable future - at the very least, through the weekend, as Dorian creeps toward our coast. 

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