Cameron Schools still recovering 1 year after Hurricane Ike hits - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cameron Schools still recovering 1 year after Hurricane Ike hits

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It has been almost 1 year since Hurricane Ike ripped through the Gulf Coast.

School officials in Cameron say the storm did quite a bit of damage to the school buildings at South Cameron High School.

"I don't think that any of us really believed that we could receive the damages and the destruction that we did," says Stephanie Rodriguy, the superintendent of Cameron Parish Schools.

The damages forced students to leave their temporary facilities in Cameron and commute all the way to Lake Charles.

"I would have to drive from Creole to Lake Charles everyday," says Devon Richard, a student at South Cameron High.

Devon Richard recalls the inconvenience of having to leave her hometown just to go school.

"It was definitely an inconvenience but we learned to cope, we got through it and now we're back in Creole where everything is so much easier," says Richard.

While the temporary facilities suffered damages, so did the school's gymnasium.

"The gym had been completely refurbished and the interior and exterior walls were pretty much completely destroyed," says Rodriguy.

In addition to finishing construction on the gym, the school is also building a brand new high school to replace their temporary facilities.

"Our buildings are actually being built above the preliminary new maps that are significantly higher than the base flood elevation," says Rodriguy. "They're more wind resistant, stronger, and higher."

Although the school says they won't fully recover until the permanent building is complete, school officials say Cameron Parish has come a long way.

"We've come an extremely long way since then, we've come a long way since September 13, 2008, and we see nothing but good things to come," says Rodriguy.

Cameron Parish Schools say they are prepared to evacuate their students to a different location if another hurricane were to hit.

The new South Cameron high school is expected to be completed sometime next year.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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