Hurricane Katrina and the Cajun Spartan

Here is one SJSU fan's perspective on the recent tragedy that occured when hurricane katrina struck the greater New Orleans and gulf coast region. Cajun Spartan is OK in Baton Rogue.

Hello from Baton Rogue,

There are only three questions that are brought up when a major hurricane approaches Baton Rouge and South Louisiana:

How long will we be without power?

How bad will the traffic be with all the people from New Orleans?

When are those people leaving?

There were warnings of a major hurricane coming into town since Katrina hop-scotched across Florida – almost like Andrew.

The voluntary evacuations started in the delta parishes on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by the greater New Orleans area.

By Friday and Saturday, the evacuations were mandatory. The 80 mile drive from the French Quarter to the Bridge in Baton Rouge took nearly six hours.

This was considered a land speed record, as the last evacuation's average commute was twelve hours.

Katrina's first touchdown on the gulf coast was at 6am on Monday in Plaquemines Parish and the outer western wall of the eye reached the New Orleans East area at 9am.

Baton Rouge received just over two inches of rain and sustained gusts of 40 mph for three hours.

Much of Baton Rouge was out of power, but no wind, rain or flood damage was incurred. The cause of the power outages were from the toppling of the large oak trees that provide a canopy of shade for the residents.

Many of the evacuees from New Orleans went as north and west as they could, and squatted at the first hotel or relative's house they can find.

Some of these refugees went to cities as far as Houston, Austin, Dallas, Shreveport, and Little Rock. Many stayed in Baton Rouge.

The devastation was horrible, as many know. But there were a few neighborhoods spared including those near the Audubon Zoo and across to the West Bank, in Marrero.

The upcoming months will be a test of character for those not just near New Orleans or Baton Rouge, but for the nation as a whole: long gas lines and high gas prices; two million people in the gulf south are without a home; there is no infrastructure in an area the size of the bay area.

But there are ways to give support.

Most of these conventions are being done now: giving to the Red Cross or other charities and giving time for those in crisis.

But another way is to give support for those bringing the best face for those areas hit.

Openly given support for the schools playing football including (in no special order) Southern Miss, Tulane, Southeastern (LA), and Nicholls State (LA).

These student athletes don't have a home or a permanent place to study…and this is while going on the road to play football for every game this year.

These men and women are truly goodwill ambassadors for the sport and their schools.


Cajun Spartan

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