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Teen’s college sendoff delayed as Hurricane Irma closes in on east coast

RICHMOND, Va. -- Jasper Gau was set to move into Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia Thursday, but the school has decided to evacuate the campus and delay classes one week due Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic.

“We were prepared to leave him at the campus knowing that they have been through this before and they’ve got this, but fortunately they knew enough to say no let’s delay this for a bit,” said, Jasper’s mother Terry Menefee Gau.

Jasper Gau

“The worst case scenario was actually thinking we were going to drive down to Savannah, drop our son off, and say 'see ya' and just leave and he was going to be in the path of a major hurricane,” said, Jasper’s father Dave Gau.

Wednesday night, all of Jasper’s college essentials lined the foyer of his Richmond home, as he pondered what he was going to do for the next week.

“I was really excited to move in and get the new chapter started and meet my roommates, but then it just kind of stopped, everything was put on pause,” said Jasper.

Meanwhile, his parents who have been stressed all week watching the storm’s path, are relieved.

Jasper Gau and parents

“We were really grateful that they have an eye for their students and students safety and for their parents hearts as they’re sending their children particularly for the first time off to college far away,” said Terry.

While the family can’t forecast when they’ll definitively make the seven hour trip south, they take comfort in what’s for certain.

“I’ll know where he is. He’ll be upstairs in his room every moment of the hurricane,” said Terry.