BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Many people who had the chance to escape before Ida left a mark on Louisiana were able to seek refuge in the Magic City, including a group of law students at Tulane University.
Coming to Birmingham was a decision they made in less than a day. On Friday, they toyed with the idea of leaving New Orleans – but it wasn’t until folks inside the city’s levy protection system got a voluntary evacuation when they decided to pack up quickly and make their way here.
“We figured if there was a mandatory evacuation order we wanted to get ahead of that so we buckled down and we did it,” Ryan Anderson said. “It’s hard to leave your house and all of your stuff when you don’t know what you’re going to come back to, but at the end of the day it was definitely the right decision to make and I feel incredibly lucky that I had the means and the resources to make that decision.”
Anderson and her boyfriend Brennan Spoor grabbed their cat and for days’ worth of clothing before they packed their bags and hit the raod to Anderson’s hometown.
Spoor grew up in Kansas and said he isn’t used to running from a storm.
“I surely miss what’s going on in New Orleans, but I’m glad I’m safe and that my friends aren’t there right now,” Spoor said. “Getting hit by the hurricane you realize that it’s a lot more dangerous than you would originally think it is and even seeing evidence from Katrina 16 years ago, that was major. You think that was a once in a lifetime sort of storm and now it’s pretty clear that sort of thing is continuing to happen.”
They said New Orleans is a resilient city and it will bounce back quickly.
“I have a lot of faith in the city and the people that run it to be able to get it back up to the place that I know and really love,” Anderson said.
The couple plans to play everything day by day until they can get back home safely.
“Wherever a bed is where I’ll stay for the next two or so weeks,” Spoor said.
Anderson is studying to be an environmental lawyer and said this experience will help to prepare her for her future career.
“I’m not someone who has had to experience the brunt of the situation and now I’m not the worse off one but I have put myself in that situation and now I see how nerve-wracking and how important the work that we’re doing is,” Anderson said.
During the interview with CBS 42, the Tulane students got an alert from the university saying they won’t have class for the next two weeks. They said they will stay patient until they know it’s safe to return back home.