Tulane Today staff
Hurricane Ida passed through New Orleans on Sunday, causing a citywide power outage.
This prompted President Michael Fitts to announce in a statement on Monday that classes are canceled through Sept. 12, but will resume online on Sept. 13.
“The challenges we’ve experienced during the past two academic years have well-prepared us for remote learning and work. We are confident that we will be able to effectively continue teaching, learning and working remotely while our emergency personnel work to address damages on campus, and across the city and region,” Fitts wrote. Once electrical service is restored citywide, Tulane leaders believe the university community will be able to return to on-site classes and operations sooner than expected.
“Immediately following the storm, as conditions deteriorated on our campuses and throughout the city, we had to focus on the safety of our student population. Guided by university leadership and with support from partner universities in the Houston area, our staff worked round-the-clock to develop and execute an evacuation plan for all of our students — undergraduate and graduate, uptown and downtown, on- and off-campus,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick J. Norton.
“With students on their way to safety, the work of recovery now begins. Our recovery teams are currently on ground. Some repairs are already underway, and the repair process will start in earnest once we receive a complete assessment of our campuses in two to three days,” he said.
“I am encouraged by the progress that our teams are making on campus and by the work that the City of New Orleans and Entergy have accomplished in just a few short days. I look forward to welcoming our students back to a safe and operational Tulane very soon,” Norton added.
PHOTOS: Students evacuate to Houston hub following Hurricane Ida
About 1,800 students from the uptown residence halls boarded buses bound for Houston starting on Tuesday. If not traveling by bus, students were asked to make arrangements to leave campus by Tuesday as well. By Wednesday, more than 2,250 students, including on-campus, off-campus, and graduate and professional students who sheltered in place during Hurricane Ida were relocated to Houston.
The relocation efforts were coordinated by a team of 15 staffers from Student Affairs, the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Campus Services.
On Tuesday, 35 buses lined up at the university, waiting to take the students to Houston, where they would eventually take flights home or to other safe destinations.
In Houston, students arrived at two hotels and stayed on the premises until their flight time, when Tulane Shuttles and Transportation, along with support from Rice University and University of Houston Clearlake, brought them to local airports.
“Tulane is currently establishing a hub in Houston to provide food and lodging at Tulane’s expense for students until they can get flights home. Emergency funds are available for students who need additional financial support,” President Fitts wrote in an email.
Tulane will continue to host any students who could not make arrangements to leave Houston immediately, including international students.