Tahoe grad returns home from New Orleans college
August 31, 2005
Kylie Novasel, a 2004 graduate of South Tahoe High School, arrived at New Orleans on Friday night to get ready for her sophomore year at Tulane University. Heeding the advice to evacuate, Novasel got into a car with two friends and headed for Houston.
The drive normally takes five hours, she said, but took eight hours on Saturday.
“You could tell there was something going on,” Novasel said.
She took one duffle bag and left another at a cousin’s house, two blocks away from where the levee broke at Lake Pontchartrain. Other items, like bedsheets and blankets, were left in a New Orleans storage unit which she thinks is “gone as well.”
In Houston at a house of a friend, Novasel, who double majors in political economy and history, booked a flight to return to Tahoe. She came back to the Lake Tahoe Basin on Tuesday, a day before school was set to start.
Pictures of New Orleans have amazed the 19-year-old.
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“It really is scary when you recognize a street sign,” she said. “It’s scary. It’s a pretty surreal feeling. You can’t believe what’s going on.”
Tulane’s Web site has turned into a blog, with the latest update at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
“One of our greatest frustrations is our inability to communicate with our larger community due to the failure of all utilities, including e-mail and cell phones,” the latest update stated. “Over the next few days we will have a better handle on the timeline for our recovery. In the meantime, nearly all of our students have been relocated to their home communities or other safe locations under our supervision. All of our residence halls are secure and the contents appear intact.”
Novasel doesn’t know when she’ll return to school. In the meantime, she hopes to round up donations in Tahoe.
“Hopefully I get a semester in,” she said.