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Dear Tech Family,
Thursday, August 27, was one of the darkest days in the history of Louisiana as almost all of our State was significantly impacted by Hurricane Laura. What began as a high-level Cat 4 on the SW coast continued with hurricane-force winds to the Arkansas border. Damage is great across the State and so many lives are disrupted. Our hearts and prayers go out to those in Lake Charles and surrounding areas that took the brunt of Laura’s blow. And we know that our sister institutions, particularly McNeese State University, have a long road to recovery. Let’s all stand beside them during this time.
The hurricane had a big impact across Ruston with a significant number of houses and businesses damaged by the high winds and falling trees. Electricity is still out across much of Ruston and hazards remain on many streets. Mayor Ronny Walker has done an excellent job in marshaling resources to get services restored, but it looks like another 3 or 4 days before we will be at near full power.
The Tech campus had some tree damage and relatively minor damage to our facilities, and we are most grateful that it was not more severe. Our power plant has continued to provide power to most of our campus, but we will need our connection to the City of Ruston restored before we can return to full operations. Thanks to our Building and Grounds crews for getting some of the worst debris cleared on campus yesterday.
As usual, our students have stepped up in a caring and compassionate way. SGA President Zac Little has organized a “Mini Big Event” today beginning at 8:30 AM at Tolliver Hall to do a campus cleanup. If you have tools, you can bring those. I also know that there are some drives being led by our students and others to raise support for those with the greatest needs at Tech and across the State.
Locally, please reach out to 211 if you have immediate needs for food, shelter or assistance. They will be able to direct you.
We know that many of our students, faculty and staff across the city and state have had significant personal impacts. We pray for you all.
As our communication channels open up and as we get better damage assessments, we will be sharing more information about resources to help those in need.