In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, TCU students worry about family and friends in Galveston, Houston and the surrounding areas as Hurricane Rita heads toward Texas.Janet Hess, a parent of a TCU student, has been living in Houston after being relocated from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Hess teaches at a school for evacuated children.
“Houston has been unbelievably generous,” Hess said.
Hess said she cannot return to New Orleans for three to four months and plans to stay in Houston. Hess also said the hurricane will probably not be “life-threatening” in Houston but it will cause huge devastation in Galveston and surrounding areas.
Hess said she is trying to go to New Orleans on Friday to assess the flood damage to her house but she is not sure if it will be possible. She might come to Fort Worth, where her daughter Emily Hess, is a sophomore business major at TCU, if Houston is evacuated, Hess said.
Another student who could be affected by Hurricane Rita is Justin Knox. Knox, a junior entrepreneurial management major, said his family in Sugar Land is preparing for the worst. The mayor of Houston said on television that residents should fill their gas tanks and prepare to leave if necessary, Knox said. Knox’s sister told him that all of the gas stations were crowded and some had no gas. Knox said that if his family has to evacuate, they will come to Fort Worth.
A Wal-Mart in Houston had to order canned water, because it sold out of bottled water, Knox said.
Darren Rosenberg, a senior kinesiology and geography major, said that his family will evacuate Houston on Wednesday night and come to Fort Worth.
Another TCU student from Sugar Land is Lesleigh Saunders, a senior criminal justice and psychology major. Saunders said her parents are waiting for further information before deciding whether or not they should evacuate. Saunders said the school at which her father teaches was closed for the week. Schools closer to Galveston are closing, Saunders said.
Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said families and friends can stay with students, but they should not stay for more than a weekend.
Mills said the response to Hurricane Rita will be similar to the response to Hurricane Katrina. Students’ situations will be dealt with on an individual basis, Mills said.
Family Weekend will be affected, Mills said. Some people will not be able to come because of the hurricane, and many will decide to come to leave the hurricane.