Hurricane Gustav Displaces Some in Broader PA Community

Just three years after Trey Meyer ’09 arrived at Andover in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, his hometown has been hit again. Meyer is not the only member of the PA community displaced by New Orleans’s Hurricanes. For Nat Lavin ’07 and Jonny Mok ’08, Hurricane Gustav was a rude awakening for the start of their school year at Tulane. Tropical Storm Gustav, at one point a category five storm, hit just west of New Orleans. Mok explained in an email to The Phillipian that all students were required to evacuate campus at noon on Friday, August 29. Mok had to book an emergency flight to New York, where he stayed with other alumni. According to Mok, many of the locals were stubborn when a mandatory evacuation was set. However, the extra precautions taken by the city of New Orleans proved successful. Lavin drove to Waco, Texas with friends and family. In an email to The Phillipian, he explained that students were required to leave until the following Wednesday. He said that it was a “Hurrication” of sorts, because he needed to keep occupied until he was able to return to school. Lavin said that at one point, his roommate suggested they start looking for a new school for the first semester. Lavin was more optimistic, as were many of the locals, he said. The campus only suffered minimal basement flooding and a few broken windows. Lavin said that many of the locals praised Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal for his work in handling the storm. Former governor Ray Nagin, who received much criticism three years ago, did not receive as much press. Lavin said that he was irritated by the drama around the storm created by the press. The hurricane was simply not as strong as the media had portrayed it, he said. Meyer did not evacuate.In an email to The Phillipian, Meyer explained that his house was affected by some wind damage, but nothing too severe. Meyer said that one of the major differences between the aftermath of Katrina and Gustav was the presence of looters. Meyer wrote, “This hurricane was a lot different from Katrina because there were much more national guard and police watching over the city. I didn’t even see one looter whereas during Katrina I saw hundreds.”