His mom’s house isn’t there anymore.
And his parents will most likely head separate ways to find new jobs in different states.
In the past week, LSA freshman Kenneth Human has been forced to grapple with the effects of Hurricane Katrina, which decimated his hometown of New Orleans, from his Mary Markley dorm room.
After watching days of news coverage on New Orleans, Human says, “I don’t know if anyone will really want to come back.”
A week earlier on Aug. 29, the day the hurricane hit Louisiana, Human and his family prepared to depart New Orleans to move him in to Mary Markley Residence Hall.
Human and his parents got on their flight only moments before the hurricane struck. But only a few days later did he and his parents learn the extent of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
On Aug. 1, Human’s parents returned to Louisiana hoping to recover what property they could salvage. Phone calls to his parents have been few and sometimes impossible, and with reports of looting and lawlessness in the area, Human is growing increasingly concerned.
“Who’s to say looters aren’t going to approach (my parents)? The National Guard isn’t even there yet,” Human said.
Engineering senior Mark Thomas left his hometown of Lafayette, La. two days before the hurricane arrived. Compared with others living in southern Louisiana, Thomas said his family is doing well; they and most of their property escaped the hurricane unscathed. His family is currently helping to house refugees.
While his family is safe, Thomas said he can’t help but feel a great loss knowing the hurricane devastated New Orleans and much of southern Louisiana.
“I can’t watch the coverage anymore,” he said. “I grew up there, and now it’s all underwater.”
Like many college students displaced by the hurricane, a friend of Thomas who attends Tulane University in New Orleans was recently admitted to the University to study for the fall semester. Thomas said his friend declined to be interviewed for the spot, since he is still in a state of shock.
Candice Dusset, a research assistant for the University’s Department of General Surgery, said she has learned in the past week that the hurricane destroyed the homes of all her family members in New Orleans.
Except for her grandfather on her mother’s side who is still missing, all of her family members are safe. Dusset said because most of her family lived in New Orleans, one of her uncles will move up to Michigan to stay with her.
“I’m glad everyone’s safe, but now what are they going to do?” she said, adding that her family members in New Orleans will most likely have to find new jobs.
LSA senior Michael Ramey, who grew up in New Orleans, said it has been upsetting watching the aftermath of the hurricane unfold. But he expects his emotional state to worsen in the future.
“I think it will hit me the hardest when I actually return,” he said.
Despite the difficulty of the past week, Human, the LSA freshman, said he looks forward to starting school.
“I think I will be fine,” he said. “I’m actually really excited to start school so I can get my mind off it. Right now, every time I pick up the newspaper I get upset.”