As a strong line of thunderstorms approached Baton Rouge Monday morning, cell phones in classrooms all over LSU started to go off with a warning.
Jessie Smith, 19, and Christina Barrios, 20, were in class when they got the text that there was a tornado warning. They went out to stand under a pavilion near their class for a bit and then made their way to the student union so they could get inside.
Neither student said they were nervous about the weather until they started getting text messages from friends.
“My friends were texting that they were being evacuated into the basement of the dorm and I’m standing outside,” Smith said.
Barrios said she really wasn’t worried until later.
“I grew up in Louisiana and I feel we always make a bigger deal out of weather than it actually is,” she said. “But when I walked outside, I thought, well, maybe it is that bad.”
Chris McVicker, 21, was on his way to class when the storm hit. He met up with friend Rhett Orgeron, 21, and after the rain had passed they began looking for damage on campus.
Both headed to Samuel Lockett Hall to check out reports of flooding in the basement.
At the building, Nik Svoboda, an Information Technology staffer at LSU, was trudging through water in a back room of a lecture hall removing boxes and other materials. Water had run down the outside stairs, into the building and then down into this lower level lecture hall, not for the first time.
Svoboda said that years ago he had been moving some boxes in this room and found mushrooms and fungus, indicating it had flooded before.
“We stopped keeping important stuff down here,” he said.
Others got caught in the weather before making it to the building and said they needed to stock towels along with first-aid kits, Svoboda joked.
“Even after being in Louisiana for years, that was one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve seen,” Svoboda said.
Dakota Meyer, 22, a student who got caught in the weather while driving to school, ended up being involved in a mini adventure that went around the lakes to avoid problems. One of the passengers had to lift up part of a tree to get through.
“Then we got here and everyone was huddled in the hallways,” Meyer said, standing in front of the Troy H. Middleton Library.
Carry Garrison, 21, student made her way to the library from Coates Hall during part of the storm to study, but never felt nervous about it. In the meantime, students at the Howe Russell building were moved out of a class ceiling atrium and into classrooms to wait out the storm, said Blake David, 22, student.
He had a similar response to the closing of school Monday that many students had which was “thank goodness,” but added it will likely only be a one day closure.
“They don’t like to cancel classes unless they have to so I’m sure it’s still on (for Tuesday),” he said.
Follow Amy Wold on Twitter @awold10.