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Grand Isle’s Hurricane Ida-battered school reopens

March 19, 2022 GMT

GRAND ISLE, La. (AP) — More than half a year after the 150-mph winds of Hurricane Ida battered the Louisiana coast, the Grand Isle School has reopened.

The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported that the school, which teaches students in kindergarten through high school, had its first day of in-person learning on Thursday.

Only 64 of the 135 students who attended before Ida hit on Aug. 29 were in attendance but the newspaper reported it was an emotional experience. The students had been studying virtually before that.

Principal Christine Templet told the newspaper that being back in the building brought a mix of emotions to her.

“I was very excited, but a little anxious because you don’t know what to expect,” Templet said. “There were nothing but smiles and hugs.”

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Students and staff gathered in the cafeteria to take a photo that will then be put in the yearbook. Templet said it was the first time they had been together since August.

The island took the full force of Ida when it barreled ashore; long sections of the levee that protects the island were damaged and an estimated quarter of the island’s structures were destroyed or damaged so severely damaged they’ll have to be demolished.