LOCKPORT, La. (KLFY)— Four weeks after Hurricane Ida, the people of Southeast Louisiana are still picking up the pieces left behind by the intense category four storm. Teachers and Staff at Holy Savor Catholic School in Lockport are still assessing the damage and working to move to a different campus so students can come back to class.
Principal Tricia Thibodaux walked KLFY’s Caroline Marcello through the most damaged parts of her school. “We are walking in our center hall. This is our band room. The wall was completely blown out and every window was busted. You can walk in and see that we lost instruments, our keyboards, and music. The wall that fell is now taken down,” says Thibodaux.
KLFY visited campus 24 days after the storm. Thibodaux says when they made it back home to assess the damage a week after the storm it looked like a tornado hit. “We actually thought it was a tornado because there was glass everywhere. Rocks from our prayer garden were in the building.”
The teachers lounge is also ruined. A wall that fell has been removed, but a special picture was saved. “We had a picture of a faculty member that we lost about nine years ago on the wall. The wall fell but her picture was still on the wall. One of our staff members removed it and is getting it reframed.” Thibodaux explains this is one of the tiny miracles they saw after the storm.
From the computer lab to classrooms most areas have extensive damage, but library was spared. Books are dry and the room still has the library smell. While the halls of campus smelling more of musk and mold.
Bonnie Melancon has taught at Holy Savior for 35 years. She stayed in Lockport during Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and stayed for Ida this year with her family. Including her grandson who turned eight years old a few days after the storm.
“When he’s old like me he’s going to tell his little grandchildren ‘I lived through Ida but my old granny she lived through Betsy’,” jokes Mrs. Melancon.
When asked what storm was worse, Betsy or Ida, her answer, “This one by far. I was seven and I remember Betsy so I know this is going to affect my grandson.”
“Our kids are resilient,” says Thibodaux, “We do have some students that stayed in Houston. They are coming back now that we’re returning in the next couple of days.”
Teachers have been preparing classrooms at St. Hillary in Raceland for students to come back to school. Holy Savior will use St. Hillary’s campus until repairs can be done on their school. Teachers we spoke with say they are eager to welcome back their students and try to give them a sense of normalcy during uncertain times.