NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana students helped this past weekend with recovery from recent catastrophic flooding in the state.

Thirty-one XULA students — including athletes Elex Carter, Seth Jackson, Innocent Kukulu, Lucas Martin-Julien, Wesley Pluviose-Philip and Chris Ward from men’s basketball and Clarke Allen, Keairez Coleman, Katelyn McMorris and Darrick Williams from men’s and women’s track and field/cross country — traveled to Baton Rouge Saturday. They volunteered their time to gut flooded houses or work at a Red Cross shelter.

“It was easy for me to volunteer,” said Jackson, a Baton Rouge resident whose house did not flood. “I wanted to help my city.”

Jackson and teammates spent nearly four hours in a flooded home. Their duties included cutting open walls to a height of four feet and carrying wet furniture to the curb. There was no air conditioning, and the volunteers more masks and gloves to avoid contact with mold.

“It was pretty hot in that house,” Jackson said.

But Jackson left the house feeling good about his group’s efforts. “I wish we could have stayed and helped a little longer,” he said.

Jackson took advantage of another opportunity Sunday when he helped with cleanup at a cousin’s house in Baton Rouge. XULA’s fall semester began Monday.

According to reports from the Baton Rouge Advocate and Times-Picayune, the flooding across the southern part of the state from the second weekend of August has left at least 13 people dead and thousands more displaced. More than 120,000 households have applied for federal recovery assistance through FEMA, and 2,817 people remained in shelters overnight Sunday. FEMA announced Tuesday the approval of approximately $127 million for for flood survivors.

Courtesy: Xavier Athletics


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