Some Hurricane Florence evacuees from around the Carolinas will be riding the Clemson Tigers‘ team buses to escape the dangerous rain and winds pummeling the coastline.
Young Transportation, a travel service that furnishes buses for Clemson and Appalachian State, among other schools, has deployed its fleet to areas of North and South Carolina expected to be most impacted by the storm.
The buses were used to evacuate students from UNC-Wilmington, Fort Jackson military base and numerous nursing homes on Thursday.
“We’re running all over the place, doing all kinds of things, and [the Clemson buses] are two of our fleet of 50,” said Tom Crouch, president of Young Transportation.
The buses, which are wrapped in orange and purple decals with Clemson logos and are typically used to transport the team prior to its popular run down the hill at Memorial Stadium, are part of a large-scale rescue effort, Crouch said.
“It’s continually changing every couple of hours, getting calls for different evacuations,” Crouch said.
Crouch said his company routinely assists with emergency evacuations in situations like this, but the continually changing path of Hurricane Florence has made this evacuation particularly challenging.
“Anytime anything like this happens within a 500-mile radius, the government agencies call everyone they can find,” Crouch said. “People are pretty much maxed out.”
Clemson officials said they expect to be able to use the buses for Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern, though the school continues to be in close contact with Young Transportation as the situation evolves.
While Clemson expects to play this weekend, Colgate will not. The liberal arts school from Hamilton, New York, had its game at Furman in Greenville, South Carolina cancelled due to the expected weather.
Given that situation, Colgate decided the best thing it could do would be to donate their accommodations to the relief effort.
“We immediately gave up our hotel rooms so that more rooms are now available to those coming inland,” Raiders head coach Dan Hunt said. “But we still bought the meals we were going to have and requested that the hotel serve those meals to the people who have been relocated, on us.
“We were going to have Chick-fil-A delivered to the airplane after the game but have sent instructions that those meals be distributed wherever it could do the most good.”
Both Colgate and Furman will next play on Saturday, Sept. 22 with the Raiders hosting Lafayette and the Paladins taking on ETSU.