HURRICANE IDA: Ruston prepares to assist evacuees

This image from NOAA’s National Weather Service Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Ida making landfall in Louisiana

Louisiana is no stranger to hurricanes, but the last weekend of August is starting to become unpleasantly memorable.

As Ruston residents remembered the Category 1 Hurricane Laura that swept through the parish Aug. 27, 2020, and further back, the outpouring of support offered to Category 3 Hurricane Katrina evacuees following its Aug. 29, 2005, landfall, they also prepared to take in evacuees for this new hurricane, Ida, which made landfall about 11:55 a.m. Aug. 29 as a Category 4 near Port Fourchon.

NOAA’s National Weather Service Hurricane Center reported Doppler radar data indicated Ida’s maximum sustained winds when it made landfall were around 150 mph.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced during a press conference over the weekend that Ida would be one of the strongest storms to hit Louisiana since at least the 1850s. Ruston residents took in evacuees and worried for their family members who stayed behind.

“My mom is in Baton Rouge,” said Kari McGuire, a Ruston resident and teacher at Choudrant High School. “She’s got one of those built-in generators, but I’m worried about flooding.”

Louisiana Tech took in students from Nicholls State in Thibodaux and allowed students registered for fall quarter to move in early.

“Everyone who works at Louisiana Tech is interested in taking care of our students as if they were our own children,” said Tonya Oaks Smith, executive director of University Communications and Marketing. “For now, these Nicholls State students are members of our Tech Family, and we want them to feel safe and welcomed here in Ruston.”

For the most current information available regarding Hurricane Ida, text LASHELTER to 898-211 for information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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