Hurricane Zeta impacts Tulane, New Orleans

Gabby Abrams, News Editor

On Thursday evening, New Orleans was hit by the strongest hurricane in the city’s history. The Category 2 hurricane made landfall in Cocodrie, Louisiana, and generated the most damage in New Orleans before deescalating to a tropical storm in Alabama. Over 1.5 million electric customers lost power, including many off-campus Tulane students. The university also sustained some structural damages from the storm. 

Tree debris from the hurricane on Tulane’s campus. (Harrison Thorn )

“The overall damage to Tulane’s campus was minor,” Michael Strecker, executive director of Tulane public relations, said. “Howard-Tilton Memorial’s upper facade had superficial damage. A panel of the facade came loose and has been secured. As an extra safety measure scaffolding has been erected for students, faculty and staff to walk under to access the front entrance. The Reily Student Recreation Center’s soffit suffered some damage on the corner near Janet Yulman Way and Ben Weiner. It has been sealed off and repairs will be able to be made from the exterior of the building. Reily has resumed normal operations. The law library and multipurpose room both had water damage. A large branch from a water oak in the Paterson Hall courtyard broke and landed on the roof of Paterson Hall. No occupants of the building were injured or in harm’s way. COVID-19 testing at Paterson Hall was also paused through Saturday (resumed Sunday) while the damage tree was removed. The stump will be preserved and made into the base of a large table.”

Tulane moved all classes online on Wednesday in preparation for the storm and canceled classes on Thursday and Friday due to widespread power outages. The university returned to regularly scheduled classes on Monday with makeup class dates scheduled for this coming Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 7 and Nov. 8.

“Tulane’s co-generator provided power for on-campus residence halls and other vital campus buildings throughout the storm,” Strecker said. “Pre-packaged meal bags with three days of non-perishable food for use when dining services were closed were provided to students. Bottled water was also staged for use in the event of a boil water advisory. USG partnered with the university to provide 3 free meals a day to off-campus students … While campus was closed on Thursday and Friday, and during the weekend, buildings were opened so off-campus students, faculty and staff could come charge their devices and access WiFi. Student Services was also available to students throughout the storm by email: [email protected] or by calling: (504) 920-9900. Students received daily updates on storm preparations and resources available to them before and after the storm.”

Junior Carly Lerner lives in a house on Broadway Street and took advantage of the services that the university offered. 

“My house was out of power for a full four days; we lost it Wednesday night and got it back on Saturday night,” said Lerner. “It was really nice that Tulane offered us a lot of resources to use like the LBC. I went to the LBC all of the days that we didn’t have power to charge up my phone and computer and do some work. I also went and dined at the Commons with some friends for the first time this semester which was nice and nostalgic.”

There are still currently over 1,000 power outages for Entergy customers in Orleans Parish. 

Entergy prioritized restoring power to polling locations as election day rapidly approached. Officials worked to provide generators for the polling sites and adjacent parking lots. Southeast Louisiana will retain the original locations for most of its polling sites