Louisiana soccer team unable to fly home from Knoxville when Ida hit

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Louisiana soccer team had to spend an extra night in Knoxville. They were unable to fly home because of Ida.

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns from Lafayette were supposed to go home after their game against the University of Tennessee on Sunday but changed plans as the storm slammed the state. On Monday afternoon, they were on their way back to Lafayette, which they say luckily doesn’t seem to have been hit hard by Ida.

Team member Hailly Waterhouse said once the game ended Sunday, she was thinking about the storm.

“I remember I texted them after our game last night, and I was like, ‘hey how is everyone doing?’ And I got no response. So it was scary. And not being able to see how they’re doing at all is really nerve-wracking for me because I’m in Tennessee,” Waterhouse said.

She is from Mandeville, Louisiana. The city is about 30 miles outside of New Orleans. Waterhouse saw some damage through social media posts.

“I have some friends that live on the lakefront. So the whole street was flooded. And I know my friend, he had to go to his second-story because the water was coming in,” she said.

Waterhouse felt a ripple effect in Knoxville, though it was so minor in comparison. Her team had to change plans to get back.

“We were supposed to go home last night. We didn’t know if the airport would be open or if we could get flights out. So we had to postpone until this morning. We are actually all on three different flights. Some people left at 3 a.m. this morning to get to the airport. They are now in Charlotte and then there are 15 of us left waiting to go back tonight,” said Assistant Coach, Cheyenne Spade.

As they fly home, Waterhouse returns knowing her family is safe. She got the call she had been waiting for Monday morning.

“My heart like dropped. I was like, ‘oh my gosh, they’re ok, they’re fine. But it was definitely scary not being able to hear from them at all,” said Waterhouse. “Keep praying for Louisiana. Just that they find relief and they find a safe way out and that flooding goes down and everyone is just safe.”

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