On top of the usual pressures facing freshmen during their first week of classes at Georgetown, Bradley St. Angelo (COL ’12) had an additional concern – that his hometown of New Orleans could be ravaged again only three years after Hurricane Katrina hit the city.

Hurricane Gustav, the latest storm to hit the Gulf of Mexico, prompted New Orleans’ government to prepare for a repeat of Katrina, and Mayor Ray Nagin called for a mandatory evacuation of the entire city Saturday night.

While approximately one million residents left New Orleans, St. Angelo’s family was among those who decided not to leave the city and ride the storm out at home.

On Monday morning, Gustav hit Cocodrie, La., a town 72 miles southwest of New Orleans. Gustav weakened from a Category 2 storm to a tropical storm later that evening, although it still hit Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi hard, with an approximated 1.2 million power outages.

Relieved, St. Angelo received the news that the storm had skirted the still-devastated city of New Orleans. After a hectic first two weeks at school, St. Angelo plans to head home to visit his family and see the city.

Caroline Buras (COL ’11) also anxiously watched the news, following Gustav’s path carefully. Aside from hailing from New Orleans, Buras is also on the executive board for Blanket New Orleans, an on-campus group dedicated to distributing supplies, including blankets, to the residents of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Buras said that the evacuation in anticipation of Gustav proved that the city’s government is putting more thought into the safety of the residents.

“The evacuation was obviously the most organized that it has ever been,” she said. “I am glad that the government has finally begun to respond to such situations with the mentality that the worst could happen.”

The Center for Social Justice vetoed BNO’s planned alternative spring break trip to New Orleans for this academic year after receiving a report that some volunteers violated its substance-free policy. But BNO president Jessica Vasquez-Burns (MSB ’10) said, “Every effort is being made to organize a trip this year.”

She also said that the club does more than just spring break trips.

“Before Gustav hit, we had many plans to continue to promote awareness about Hurricane Katrina, and we are going to continue those plans coupled with the new devastation of Hurricane Gustav,” she said. “We have set out many cultural and fundraising events this year and are looking forward to promoting awareness here on campus.”

Another on-campus hurricane relief group, GU Hurricane Emergency Relief Effort, was formed three years ago after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and its surrounding areas. Since then, the club has hosted three trips down to the Gulf Coast region, specifically in Alabama and Mississippi, to help the victims.

As of now, the club has not decided on a particular location for this year’s trip, but Greg Baltz (SFS ’10), one of the leaders of GUHERE, said that this storm only added more destruction to a struggling area.

Overall, Gustav caused much less damage and resulted in fewer deaths than Katrina. Three years ago, Georgetown University allowed nearly 100 students from Loyola University New Orleans and Tulane University to attend Georgetown until the schools were back up and running.

University spokesperson Julie Bataille says that Georgetown is in touch with the schools in the Gulf Coast region and is offering help. She said that she is not aware of any requests for accommodating students from universities there.

“Between Katrina and now Gustav, there’s always more work to be done,” Baltz said. “Our goal, and that of the other volunteers building and repairing year-round, is to keep going back until we’ve worked ourselves out of a job.”

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