Dear Museum family,
Yesterday was a rough day for all of us in New Orleans and the surrounding region as Hurricane Ida tore through southern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the United States. Today, we are thinking of all of our local visitors, supporters, and community members and hoping you and your loved ones made it through this dangerous storm safely.
On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Ida made landfall about 100 miles south of New Orleans in Port Fourchon as a strong Category 4 hurricane. The storm maintained its Category 4 strength for nearly seven hours after landfall and moved more slowly and eastwardly than expected, putting New Orleans at greater risk than anticipated and bringing hours of relentless rain and hurricane-force winds to the city.
The damage to our city and region is not yet fully known, but there’s no doubt that it is significant and devastating. While the Museum sustained some wind and rain damage, as is to be expected with a storm of this strength and duration, we are grateful to have been spared of far worse. Many of our neighbors were not as fortunate.
The Museum and Higgins Hotel & Conference Center are without power, as is all of Orleans Parish, so we will remain closed to the public through at least Sunday, September 5. We have lots of work to do today to check in with our staff and more fully assess the campus before we can determine when we’ll be able to safely reopen. Thankfully, we have an incredibly dedicated remain-behind team who has worked hard before, during, and now after the storm to keep our campus as safe and secure as possible, mitigate storm damage, and begin cleanup and repairs.
Your support of The National WWII Museum and our mission means so much to us, especially in these trying times. We’ll continue to keep you posted on our recovery efforts as well as any updates to upcoming programs and events.
To our Louisiana friends impacted by Ida, our thoughts are with you. Stay strong in the upcoming weeks and months ahead as we work together to rebuild the region we all call home and love dearly.
To our friends across the country, thank you for your well wishes and generous support. While we have a long road ahead of us, I have no doubt that we will once again overcome these challenges and play a leading role in Louisiana's recovery. We look forward to the day when we’ll be able to welcome you back to our great city and Museum.
Stephen J. Watson
President & CEO
The National WWII Museum