As I write to you, I’m listening to the rain and winds continue to howl here in New Orleans. The eye of the storm is moving west of us, but things will get slightly worse before they get better, so no one here should let their guard down. The forecast predicts sustained winds of 45-55 mph, with gusts up to as high as 100 mph over the next few hours. As ready as we are for this to be over, we will continue to feel the tail end of the storm into tomorrow morning, with the last of the occasional rain bands into Tuesday.
The Broadway campus lost power shortly after noon, and main campus at about 3 p.m. The students who are on campus with us are safe. We are grateful to the residence life staff and campus ministers who have kept them entertained with board games and good humor. Otherwise we have experienced minimal damage so far. Our physical plant employees will closely inspect the campus as soon as conditions permit tomorrow.
There are reports of widespread power outages in the city. Entergy will send crews to start assessing damage and restoring power as soon as it is safe for their crews to do so. We will have estimates from Entergy as soon as they are able to send crews to assess damage about how long it will take us to restore power, so that we can plan accordingly.
Please continue to stay safe indoors. Remain inside even after the storm has passed, both for your own protection and to allow emergency response efforts to proceed smoothly. I am praying hard for all of us, but especially for the people of Houma, Grand Isle, and other places that have taken such a beating with the storm still on top of them.