Louisiana colleges, universities disrupted by Hurricane Ida back to teaching

In-person learning resumes at UNO, Southeastern; Nicholls to follow next week

By: - September 22, 2021 2:28 pm

The University Center at the University of New Orleans (Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Colleges and universities disrupted by Hurricane Ida are now operational — in-person or remotely. About 135,900 students — or 55 percent of Louisiana’s public university student population — were impacted directly by the storm, Board of Regents Chair Blake R. David said Wednesday at a regularly scheduled Board meeting.

College campus buildings also “fared remarkably well” in Hurricane Ida.

“Nothing to the level of Lake Charles (after Hurricane Laura) last year,” board member Chris Herring said.

In the University of Louisiana system, three schools were hit by Ida. Now, two of those — University of New Orleans and Southeastern University in Hammond — are back to teaching on campus, and the other — Nicholls State University in Thibodaux — is teaching remotely, but will go back to teaching in-person next week.


About a week after the storm, 97 percent of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes — where most of Nicholls’ student base lives — didn’t have power, and most didn’t have running water either. Today, 17,047 of 71,890 — or 23 percent — of Terrebonne and Lafourche parish residents don’t have power, according to poweroutage.us.

As for the Southern University system, Southern University at New Orleans “got the blunt end of Hurricane Ida,” President Ray Belton said. The hurricane cost SUNO $384,000 in damages. 

Southern University in Baton Rouge incurred over $270,000 in damages from Ida, most of which was for debris and tree removal. Both universities are back to teaching in-person, Janene Tate, spokesperson for Southern University, said.

LSU’s Health Science Center in New Orleans and Baton Rouge campus were also affected by the storm. LSU at Baton Rouge is back to teaching in-person, some students at the Health Science Center in New Orleans are in a hybrid learning format with on-site labs, Ernie Ballard, spokesperson for LSU, said.

LCTCS didn’t respond in time to questions about damage from the storm, and how it’s affecting classes on those campuses now.


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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is a former Louisiana Illuminator reporter. Prior to working with the Illuminator, Canicosa worked for Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon. Canicosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.