Loyola’s campus shelters in place as Ida makes landfall


Alexandra Akes

Finance sophomore Jordan Collins poses in her dorm with the supplies she purchased ahead of Hurricane Ida. Ida made landfall in Louisiana early Sunday afternoon.

Students and resident assistants on Loyola’s campus are sheltering in place less than one week into the Fall 2021 semester as Hurricane Ida makes landfall in New Orleans Sunday afternoon.

Just after the beginning of Loyola’s return to a full capacity campus, students are hunkering down in dorms for the storm. The hurricane comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and after a tumultuous hurricane season in 2020.

Loyola has canceled classes through Tuesday to allow students to leave and come back to campus in time. They also provided an airport shuttle service to assist in the evacuation.

In preparation for the storm, Loyola encouraged students to leave after New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a voluntary evacuation for the parts of the parish inside the levee protection system.

Finance sophomore Jordan Collins is from St. Louis, Missouri and chose to ride out Hurricane Ida on campus in Cabra Hall for the first storm she’s been through.

The flights home were booked by the time Collins could evacuate and instead she made a trip to Walmart to get snacks, flashlights, batteries, and water. Collins said Cabra had lost power early Sunday afternoon, which happened “sooner than expected.”

Now, Collins is hoping to keep her worried mom in St. Louis calm. It’s scary for Collins that power being out could cut off their communication.

“I’m here,” Collins said. “I can’t leave. I’m just going to make the best of it.”

Collins said she’s worried about Sunday night for when the winds and rain increase, though she said she feels safe in Cabra.

Chris Rice, director of residential life, stayed in touch with students staying on campus Sunday morning via Zoom to update them on taking storm precautions, according to Collins.

“I think Loyola’s done a great job keeping us prepared,” Collins said.

As of Saturday evening, most students living on campus had decided to leave, according to Cynthia Russell, the senior resident assistant of Carrollton Hall.

Russell said she feels safe at Loyola and that the university is prepared to withstand the storm. She, along with other resident assistants, are equipped with emergency kits that have chargers and power surge protectors. They also have games to occupy residents in the event of power outages.

Russell said most people who are staying are those who had to stay last year in 2020 for the hurricane season and are calmer having stayed before.

“I kinda just told my residents if they weren’t comfortable being without power, they should leave,” Russell said.

Russell said she is especially calm knowing that the residential halls didn’t flood during Hurricane Katrina, which will have its 16th anniversary Sunday, the day Ida made landfall in Louisiana.

University President Tania Tetlow told Loyola she was staying on top of things Friday before canceling school Tuesday Saturday morning.

“Our priority is your safety,” she said.