Dear Loyola Staff,
We are getting more encouraging news from Entergy. Some power transmission has begun to the city and now the work of repairing actual lines begins. It’s still impossible to know the exact timeframe, but my hope is that it is more like a week or two rather than months.
But that’s campus and the city itself, and I know that many of you live in areas where it will be far longer. Some of you have lost your homes and everything you own (or have the crushing anxiety of not knowing yet). My cousins in LaPlace have given me a sense of how absolute the devastation is in their neighborhood and in communities like Lafitte and Houma. Ida wasn’t a Katrina event for the city itself, but it was for many of you. And we remember how brutal that is, and will be, for so long.
Once the power comes on in the city, I will be asking those of us whose houses are functional if they might have room to take in a colleague and their family. Our community, all of us, will be doing everything we can think of to help, from immediate physical needs to help with the infuriating FEMA and insurance forms.
And as critical as all of you are to the functioning of Loyola, know that those of us who are able to will carry the load of those who need vastly more time.
I also know that every single one of us is exhausted right now, crowded into hotel rooms or imposing on the generosity of friends and family. Some of you are sweating it out at home, waiting in line for hours for food or gas.
I wish it were possible for us to simply shut down indefinitely so we could all have a more blanket break, but my worry is that would cause lasting damage to the University and our collective security. And so we are asking those who can work to help us get through, and those who cannot please just tell us you need more time.
And again, we are all grateful for those of you on the front lines who haven’t stopped working, caring for the immediate critical needs of the campus and our students.
Thus far, we have been flying blind, without being able to know the full impact the storm had on each of you. We are asking you to take a moment to fill out this survey to help us assess your needs and how we move forward together. I know that some of you won’t even receive this email because you have no communications – so if a supervisor has been in touch with an employee who does not have internet access to fill out the form, please do so for them, and don’t worry about potential duplication.
I also want to tell you that I have received an emotionally overwhelming number of emails from parents, thanking all of us profusely and sending prayers and offers to help. They asked that I tell all of you how grateful they are, and how much they love and trust Loyola.
I, too, can't thank you enough.