HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - Three thousand students and faculty of Holyoke Community College had to leave the campus all at the same time Tuesday because of a threat. Now after seeing the traffic jam, HCC is re-thinking their evacuation plan.
It was a chaotic afternoon for Holyoke Community College students and faculty on Tuesday.
The school received a threat against members of the school community, which then led to an evacuation and a temporary shutdown.
Around noon on Tuesday, students received a phone call and an e-mail saying that there will be an evacuation. Students told 22News that message did not say that there was a threat, so they were confused, but they followed the evacuation orders anyway.
Andrew Warnock, a student at HCC who was in class when the threat was first reported, told 22News "Mostly I was worried because I had no idea what was going on, and pretty much, the mind leading to wonder, what just happened? Why are we evacuating? But in the event that it was something serious, I was glad to be off campus at the time."
HCC student Dan Iglesias said he wasn't on campus at the time, but he's happy with the precautionary measure the school took.
He said "You never know who you're going to deal with, but always want to be safe than sorry, you know."
The phone messaging system is a relatively new notification system, and it proved to be useful.
But getting at least 3,000 students and faculty to safety wasn't an easy task. Most people were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.
HCC Vice President of Administration and Finance Bill Fogarty said "Having only 3 exits off of campus... It is difficult to get everyone off campus in an orderly manner, plus we have buses. One of the things we are trying to do is actually build another exit off of campus, another entrance road, which would help with that."
The person who allegedly made this threat has been arrested.
State Police are questioning that man. We do know he is an HCC student, but his name is not being released.