Bethune-Cookman University orders campus evacuation ahead of Tropical Storm Ian

Bethune Cookman University (BCU) isn't taking any chances with storm Ian. They say the safety of their students, faculty, and staff is their top priority. Based on Ian’s projected path and strength, they're taking the step to evacuate the university. 

Hadassah Headman, a BCU student, says it caught her off-guard. "I think it's a little anxiety-inducing. As a South Carolina native, usually when we have a 'hurricane' there's no evacuation," she said.

BCU officials say everyone needs to be off campus by noon, on Monday. The school said they'll decide when everyone can return to BCU as conditions improve. FEMA flood maps show that campus is in a special flood hazard area. Students say staff instructed them that anything they're leaving behind in their rooms, especially electrical equipment, must be off the floors. 

"Some people have to take their TV's with them, or unplug certain items, which is fine. But you can't do anything with your mini-fridge, so I don't know what to tell you," says BCU student Tatum Jackson.

Officials are asking all students to start packing to leave as soon as Sunday morning. Many relatives have been traveling in to pick them up. 

"It's a new experience for her. This is her first time away from home, but she wanted to be a Bethune Cookman student, so here she is!" says Melvin James, arriving from Atlanta, GA, to pick up his granddaughter.

The email got to students around eight o'clock, Saturday night. Some of them said they didn’t think they were given enough time to prepare. 

"For people who go to California or live in Michigan, and don't have a car, it's harder for them know because they can't find last-minute flights back home, or can't afford last-minute flights back home," said student Theodis Durant.

Officials say they'll be sending out more information on social media. We've reached out to school officials to find out what they're doing for students who don't have anywhere else to stay.