Thoughts & Prayers for Those Impacted by Hurricane Ida & Wildfires in the Western U.S.

TO: The Gonzaga Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Thoughts & Prayers for Those Impacted by Hurricane Ida & Wildfires in the Western U.S.
DATE: August 31, 2021

This past Sunday, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of between 130 and 150 miles per hour. The damage wrought by Ida is devastating and widespread, with numerous deaths and injuries, many homes and buildings flooded and destroyed, and much of southern Louisiana and the city of New Orleans without power. Students and colleagues at Loyola University New Orleans have been compelled to halt operations as people find safe places to stay until power and communications can be restored – which could take weeks.

Louisiana’s health care system already faced great difficulties with the mounting number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations; there are many people in need of support in the wake of Ida. We want to offer our prayers of support for those who have been impacted by this devastating storm, and ask you to consider supporting one of the many aid agencies or organizations that are working to render assistance to those who are suffering and in need.

Closer to home, and with undoubted impact on some of our students and alumni, many of the wildfires that have ravaged California and much of the West this summer continue to burn, consuming hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and cultivated land, and destroying thousands of homes and buildings. Currently, the Caldor Fire has forced the evacuation of the city of South Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas, having burned through the El Dorado Forest. As of last night, the fire had grown to over 186,000 acres and was only 15% contained.

The devastating impact that disasters like these have can last many years, profoundly impacting families and businesses that have been created over decades. Please keep those who are being, or have been, impacted by disasters such as this in your thoughts and prayers. If there are any students or community members that are being impacted by these events, or other traumatic experiences, please consider reaching out so that we can be of support to you. Here are just some of the departments that are prepared to provide support and resources:

Center for Cura Personalis
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(509) 313-2227

Health and Counseling Services
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(509) 313-4052

Office of Mission and Ministry
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(509) 313-4242

After Hours:
For 24-hour assistance, please contact Campus Security at 509-313-2222. Campus Security will direct you to the Student Development on-call professional.

Online Resources:
An online wellness toolbox is available with various resources, including a section on grief:

First Call for Help:
Phone 509-838-4428 for assistance. This 24-hour resource is available to provide a supportive listener, immediate help for individuals in crisis, and connection to community resources.

“Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. –Psalm 57:1