By Tea Stewart, Staff Writer
Hurricane Ida, a category 4 hurricane, made its way towards Louisiana and the Gulf coast. The storm hit the shores of Louisiana on Sunday, August 29th, which happened to be the date of the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
“This was a very scary experience for non-local folk and I do wish we could’ve better prepared for this life-changing moment as many people come to Louisiana,” said Lauryn Wallace, a freshman student who remained on campus post-hurricane.
The Xavier University of Louisiana, one of the many schools affected by Hurricane Ida, experienced some flooding, fallen trees, and sustained some damages to buildings and residence halls. Prior to the hurricane, most of Xavier’s student population evacuated campus with only approximately 200 students choosing to remain on campus. An update from the university confirmed that all students and staff that chose to stay on campus are safe and are being provided with food, water, and shelter.
Days before the storm’s expected impact, New Orleans’ mayor, Latoya Cantrell, issued an evacuation order for districts in Orleans parish that would be affected, and strongly suggested that other Orleans residents evacuate if able. Due to the strength of Hurricane Ida and the mayor’s suggestion, many residents fled the city. According to the National Hurricane Center, Ida hit land with winds up to 150mph and dropped to 125mph shortly after. Reports state that there have been at least two deaths as well as catastrophic damages to the southeastern parts of Louisiana. The hurricane resulted in a power outage for some Louisiana residents, as well as a loss of power in the New Orleans metropolitan area. One transmission tower was blown into the Mississippi River and the city’s sewerage system is partially down.
Xavier students who evacuated to places all over the country are feeling the impact of the hurricane as well and have been trying to find ways to help those in Louisiana.
“I want to go back as soon as possible to clean and rebuild, but with all this information, conditions not being safe, and no way to get in contact with people there, it’s slowly eating at me,” said Kells Cook-Wells, a Xavier student.
Students, like Wells and Wallace, have also expressed similar feelings and have begun using social media and other resources available to do what they can to help.
“I have sympathy for the folk in Louisiana who suffer in an environment where they regularly experience storms. Poverty rates continue to rise and my heart goes out to Louisiana residents who lost a place they call home,” Wallace added.
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