Facing Florence

Classes were cancelled late last week in response to Hurricane Florence. (Photo: Allison Heise)

When rumblings of cancelled classes reached the ears of Liberty students, the campus erupted with excitement. Shadowing that excitement were the circumstances surrounding the reason for the 4-day weekend: Hurricane Florence. However, students still filled those extra days catching up on some much-needed down time. 

The transition of Hurricane Florence to a category 4 storm had the east coast bracing for heavy flooding and loss of power. When the Commonwealth of Virginia declared a state of emergency, Liberty cancelled class for Thursday afternoon and all of Friday, leaving students with a four-day weekend. 

For Melissa Papirio, a sophomore studying Christian leadership and church ministry, the days off from class provided opportunities to spend time enjoying the friendships of the girls on her hall. According to Papirio, she enjoyed the ability to take a break from her packed schedule. 

“My hall hosted a ton of events including a trip to Rookie’s, a pancake breakfast, mudslide kickball and a worship night,” Papirio said. “It was nice to be able to sit back and enjoy time chilling with the people on my hall and catching up on some
much-needed Netflix.”

Senior Kathryn Legg, a law and policy major, was also thankful for the extra time. 

“I got to rest, which was the best part of the weekend,” Legg said. “It was so nice to have the time off and not worry about being here or there.”

(Photo: Allison Heise)

 Earlier last week, students prepared for torrential rainfall and strong winds that were predicted to hit the area. For Papirio, her mind was still uneasy as she thought of her family in the Carolinas. 

“I honestly was pretty scared—I have family in the Carolinas that got hit pretty badly, but I was comforted by my Liberty family who didn’t fail to point me back to God,” Papirio said. “I’m much more at peace now trusting that God is sovereign over all of
our circumstances.”

Legg was also apprehensive about the coming storm and prepared for the “worst-case scenario.” She expressed concern for those students whose families were in the path of
the storm.

“It’s been hard for some people to get in contact with their families and friends,” Legg said. “Thankfully, everyone I know whose home has been affected by the hurricane has been kept safe.” 

Luckily, the impact of Hurricane Florence in Lynchburg was not as serious as expected, bringing a minimal amount of rain and a lingering mist — as well as a few days of rest for students. 

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