KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Workers at a Kansas City company are paying close attention to Hurricane Isaac as it pounds New Orleans.
Grantham University in Zona Rosa was based in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The company relocated to Kansas City, Mo., thinking it would be a temporary move -- but executives decided to stay.
Many of the employees at Grantham once lived in New Orleans and still have family and friends living there. Those workers are watching the news with great interest, worried that their friends and relatives could face severe flooding and potentially lose their homes or businesses.
This was a tough day to be at work for Gina Fleckinger. She lived through Hurricane Katrina and relocated with Grantham to Kansas City.
“As long as the phone lines aren’t down and we can still communicate, then it makes things a lot easier,” said Fleckinger.
During Katrina, Fleckinger was not able to communicate by phone for nine days. Now she’s able to text her relatives in New Orleans, and they are responding.
“I asked them if they wanted to come to Kansas City and take shelter in my home, but they decided to stay there and ride out the storm,” said Fleckinger.
Other employees noted that their families had rebuilt homes on stilts after Katrina, keeping them above Isaac's flooding. Some reports that relatives on the Gulf Coast are mostly fine, describing the damage as a few downed trees and power lines.
While some wish they could be south to support their families, others, like Alice Sharp, are glad to be in hurricane-free Kansas City.
"This morning I was, of course, concerned for my family, but for me personally, I was looking back at everything that I went through when I was there. I don’t know if I could handle going through that again,” said Sharp. “I may go back, but like I said, I’m not sure if I would want to be in a hurricane zone again.”
Grantham employees spent the day getting in touch with students in the affected areas to make sure they were okay. So far, all students contacted are reporting damage to homes and offices, but no injuries.
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