In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which caused catastrophic damage in and around New Orleans, Tulane University - in New Orleans proper - has canceled student orientation and advised students to evacuate, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
About 400 of Tulane's students, staff and administrators evacuated to Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., according to Tulane's emergency Web site. But the hurricane then hit Mississippi, prompting administrators to send students to Dallas and Atlanta where they could attempt to get plane tickets home.
About 150 of the students evacuated to Southern Methodist University in Dallas Wednesday, while others went to the Georgia Institute of Technology.
According to the Web site, all of Tulane's students, faculty and staff are safe. There has been serious damage to the university's facilities and the power is out. Tulane, located 15 minutes from the city's famed French quarter, is working on a recovery plan, though major recovery efforts cannot begin until the flooding stops. The university does not know when it can be operational again, and classes will not begin before Sept. 7.
The school's normal Web site and e-mail are down, and students can find official news only on the periodically updated emergency site, emergency.tulane.edu.
Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, 80 miles northwest of Tulane, did not experience any serious damage, according to Rob Anderson in the LSU Public Affairs office. The school canceled classes until Sept. 6 to allow for the establishment of emergency medical services, including a shelter and a medical triage area.
At Tulane, "it is difficult to describe what this situation feels like for those involved," Tulane President Scott Cowen said on the emergency Web site. "It is surreal and unfathomable; yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel."