Akron college student leaves Georgia as Hurricane Matthew approaches

AKRON, Ohio-- A young woman from Akron is back in Northeast Ohio after escaping Hurricane Matthew's wrath.

Twenty-year old Olivia Brown is a third-year student at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, right in the expected path of a powerful Hurricane Matthew.


She said Tuesday, the school sent out an email announcing classes were canceled Wednesday and Thursday, and prepare for a voluntary evacuation.

"I was not sure what I was going do. If I was gonna get a hotel room in Atlanta somewhere, and I was talking to my mom and she said, 'You can drive home if you want,'" said Brown.

Olivia decided to hop in her car and make the 700-plus mile drive home to Akron.  Soon after, the school's voluntary evacuation became mandatory.

"Some people didn't leave until this morning, not even until this afternoon for some. And so I'm glad I made the decision right away to pack my things, get in the car and drive," she said.

Olivia said students who had nowhere to go were bussed to the school's campus in Atlanta.

"I think most of my friends went home too, so I just don't want anyone to be in any danger and get caught up in the storm because I think it could get really bad," Brown said.

Since arriving in Akron, Olivia has been glued to the television and monitoring updates on social media. She said her college also sends out regular emails.

The school is about 20  miles from the coastline and Olivia said she is worried about what the powerful storm could do to the campus.

"I'm not sure if structurally it is going to be able to withstand something like that because just our typical thunderstorms we get. We have at least some pretty bad flooding where I've seen a tree or two down," Brown said.

She said right now, she plans to head back to Georgia on Monday.  But that all depends on what, if any, impact Hurricane Matthew will have on her college.

Savannah College of Art and Design