By now, you should have let your families and friends know your plans, and be well on your way to being fully prepared for Hurricane Ida. The storm is expected to make landfall Sunday night as a Category 4 hurricane, but the point of landfall is currently far enough west that we expect tropical storm conditions in New Orleans with possible gusts up to that of a Category 1 storm. Squalls and rain should hit here starting Sunday morning and last through Tuesday, with the greatest intensity of rain and wind expected Sunday night through Monday, which is likely to result in some street flooding.
We are well prepared here on campus, with generators fueled, sandbags ready, and food and water supplies for days. We have activities planned for those staying in the residence halls and are working hard to keep our wifi up and running.
For those of you staying, today is the day for securing your homes, charging laptops and phones, and making sure you have the medication, snacks, water, batteries, and any other items you need to get through several days. (It’s also always a good idea to have gas in your car and cash on hand in any emergency – and to make sure your car is parked in a safe place, on high ground.) And a gentle reminder to students (and perhaps a few employees): In an emergency, city systems are stressed, particularly in a pandemic. So, it’s important that we all keep our wits about us, stay out of trouble, off the streets, and out of harm’s way.
The Orleans Room and the Market are open today. On Sunday, the Orleans room will be open from 8-10 a.m. Additionally, on Sunday, students staying on campus can pick up meals and snacks in the St. Charles Room from 9-10 a.m. The University Sports Complex is open until noon today and the library is closed. We will implement a mandatory lock-in in the residence halls starting at noon Sunday, with all of you expected to stay indoors until the storm passes – and no visitors allowed on campus until we give the all clear.
Students, if you live in the residence halls, please be sure to fill out this form confirming your whereabouts and whether you have stayed on campus or evacuated. It’s very important that we know who has left so we won’t worry that you’re missing.
Classes will be cancelled and campus will be closed Tuesday except for essential operations. This will allow students, faculty and staff time to return from evacuation. As soon as the storm passes, we will be in close touch with you about power outages and our ability to get up and running as quickly as possible.
I am holding you all in my heart this weekend as we weather this storm together, praying for your comfort, ease, and safety. Hurricanes can oddly seem to bring out the best in us – a chance to be there for each other. Most of all, we pray for those more squarely in the path of the storm.