Students share their experiences and advice for dealing with unusual New Orleans weather


Paulina Picciano

While the Loyola campus was covered in ice, off-campus students experienced issues like frozen pipes during New Orleans’ January freeze. Photo credit: Paulina Picciano

Monica Ruiz

New Orleans is known for plenty of things, but cold weather is most certainly not one of them. So on Wednesday, Jan. 13, when snow was in the forecast, it was difficult to be sure how to handle it. Many problems arise with freezing temperatures, something few southerners are equipped to deal with.

“The night we got some snow and rain, my car literally froze shut. I’m from Boston, so this had happened before and I knew what to do,” Az Troenkrasnow, sophomore marketing and accounting major, said. “I needed to open and crawl through the trunk since that’s the only part that doesn’t freeze shut, then I had to warm the car up for 45 minutes until it was thawed enough to see through the windows and open the doors.”

This is something unfamiliar to many people living in the South. After calling several mechanics in the New Orleans area, it became astoundingly clear to me that they too didn’t know how to handle freeze related car trouble.

On the issue of frozen car doors, Shelby Pojawa, sociology freshman, said, “There’s honestly not much you can do. If you can’t even open the doors to turn the defroster on, you’d just have to scrape the ice off. Once in the car, turn the defroster on and wait a few minutes.”

In all these cases, it seems as if patience is key. Stephanie Adams, a history freshman, also suggested not to pour hot water on your car, either.

“Some people think that works but it’ll damage the car,” Adams said.

Another issue that seemed to arise during the frost was the freezing of sidewalks and steps after it snowed. For many on-campus students, it became hazardous to simply go get breakfast. The sidewalks became extremely icy during the freeze, and students had to be careful not to slip.

“It’s all about being prepared before it happens. Like at home, we put kitty litter on our stairs and walkways so snow and ice melts,” said Maddy Mulder, a French language freshman, on handling icy ground.

A third common issue with a freeze is the possibility of pipes freezing, which can be a very serious problem for students living off campus, as there is a possibility that those pipes could burst.

According to Michelle Villatoro, a representative of Earl’s Plumbing and Heating, “Be sure to keep water moving in pipes if it is below freezing. Also, insulate all exposed pipe and hose bibs. If your house is raised, block the winder under the house. However, keep in mind, if it has been over four hours below 28 degrees it is very difficult to prevent damage.”

Hopefully with this in mind, the entire Loyola community can be better prepared for the next time the North comes to New Orleans.