Campus serves as haven for students, area residents
Florida Gulf Coast University administrators, faculty and staff worked feverishly to prepare for what looked like a monster Category 5 storm the week after Labor Day.
By Sept. 10, the university had transitioned to a safe haven, housing 200 students who couldn’t leave, along with 1,500 area residents and their 200 pets.
With emergency personnel in place, the National Guard and Red Cross on duty and braced for the worst, the worst didn’t happen. The storm lost steam over Cuba and came through with less fury and without the catastrophic storm surge that had been predicted.
The campus escaped with minor damage to Lutgert Hall and a host of downed trees. FGCU was back in business within 10 days, a palpable sense of relief replacing the chaos and anxiety brought on by the storm.