By Lisa Gresci, WBZ-TV

SOUTHBORO (CBS) – For Elon University junior Olivia Pierce it wasn’t long before she knew she had to get home and fast.

It all started on Monday, when Olivia and her roommate tried to go food shopping.

“We went to the store, nothing was there already. There was no water, no food in any grocery store, gas was out everywhere,” she said.

Tuesday, she woke up to the alarming news from the North Carolina School.

“I woke up to my best friend texted me and said we have to evacuate Elon sent this big email saying they want everyone off campus it’s a Category 4 hurricane,” she said.

Pierce started to realize Hurricane Florence wasn’t going to be a storm to wait out and see what happens.

“I was like ‘Mom! Dad! We have to evacuate now!’”

Related: College Students Drive 16 Hours To Flee Hurricane

Getting home to Southboro, Massachusetts was a challenge, even with her parents trying all possible airlines and airports.

“It was hard they were on there watching flights like sold out, sold out, sold out, and they finally found one,” she explained.

With the flight booked, Pierce wasn’t taking any chances.

“I packed within ten minutes. I was like what do I need? I was running around my room because I was trying to get ready for it… we put towels around the doors,” she said.

She had to take what she could and rush to the airport.

“The airport was so busy you saw everyone with the Elon or ECU sweatshirts and any other college possible walking through the airport it was hectic,” she said.

Even though she may be home with her family and no longer has to worry about wind and rain busting through her windows or flooding, it is bittersweet for Pierce.

“It’s happy it’s also challenging because there’s a ton of people who couldn’t get out and they are still there and it makes me nervous,” she said.

Pierce plans to watch the storm closely and pray for those who couldn’t leave, left to wonder what she herself will go back to when it is all over.


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