Email from friend at LSU

Got this from a friend in Baton Rouge:

Here's an update from Baton Rouge. While we suffered very little damage from the hurricane here, the aftermath of what happened in New Orleans has hit us pretty hard. In less than 48 hours the city doubled in size; BR is now the largest city in the state! Services are still out in a large portion of the parish and things are getting a little crazy. The refugees who arrived without anything have bought out most of the grocery stores in town. Even cellular phone service is questionable, but I've made it through a few times to Mama and Daddy back in [location omitted].

The university has been turned into the search and rescue headquarters and the campus buildings are being used by both refugees and various relocated NO organizations. The dorms are packed with students' family members with nowhere else to go. Classes at the university are supposed to start up again on Tuesday, but it's possible that the semester may be cancelled completely like those at the NO schools. We still aren't sure how many students or faculty will be returning and as of now, classroom space is limited. Many of us have considered heading back to our respective home states, but the gas stations are now out of gas and having trouble getting shipments in.

I live between campus and downtown and there is the almost constant sound of sirens. The looting and civil unrest you've seen and heard about in NO is now happening here as the city continues to swell. A group has apparently started pillaging in the downtown area and we have been advised to stay inside with doors and windows locked after 7pm.

Of course, tensions are extremely high all around as we try to figure out what to do. Right now I'm housing a friend and her boyfriend who both lost homes in NO and don't know when/if they will be allowed back in. As of tomorrow, I'm devoting my time to volunteering with the hundreds of displaced animals; there are too many volunteering with the human shelters already.

Thanks to all of you who e-mailed to check on me. I'm hanging in there and would very much appreciate your prayers!

Terrible. I have a friend in Houston who's going to send pictures this weekend if she's able to volunteer at the Astrodome; she wants me to post them here.


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baton rouge

Not a lot of people are talking about Baton Rouge... A shame... - Doubling Up in Baton Rouge

White flight

... all over again. On a large scale. Across states this time, not town. I see it coming. We are not nearly as tolerant and enlightened as the most hopeful among us believe.

Reappropriation of space

You're probably right. I'm thinking many dissertations in human/critical geography will be devoted to the reappropriation and reconfiguration of all this space, not just from the white flight perspective but also the possible gentrification of New New Orleans, if that ends up happening as some speculate it might, from what I've been reading.

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