Some Elon University students have already evacuated campus, but for others, heading home is not an option.
For sophomore Jonathan Stettler, native to Wilmington, North Carolina, his home is in the eye of the storm.
“Having all of our memories being potentially washed away this weekend is just really difficult to deal with," Stettler said.
Stettler lives in a mandatory evacuation zone. His home may be at risk of suffering, catastrophic damage as Hurricane Florence makes its way toward the coast.
“I’ve been really stressed," Stettler said. "It is just really stressful to think about I might not have a home at the end of this weekend. It could get completely blown away."
This stress began when he felt panic on Elon’s campus. Jon Dooley, vice president of student life, sent an email to students, faculty and staff yesterday morning. The email urged students to leave the university.
“Everyone is talking about, 'I'm going to book a flight home and I'll be safe out of the hurricane's path,'" Stettler said. "People are like, 'Oh, you're going home right?' And I tell them no, my home is in Wilmington, and no, I will not be traveling towards the eye of the hurricane."
Stettler and his parents are staying with friends in Greensboro this week. Knowing his family is safe is helping him find a sense of calm in the midst of the storm.
“I definitely do feel at peace. I can breathe now," Stettler said.
For Stettler, its the aftermath, that’s leaving him worried.
“I'm not looking forward to seeing pictures of after the hurricane," he said.
Wishing there was more he could do for the place he has grown to love.
“You grow so attached to your home and you don’t even really know it," said Stettler.
He is hoping for the best but bracing for the worst. Stettler said that people in the Wilmington community are “kind-hearted,” and knowing that they have to go through something that is disrupting their lives is.