Golden thankful family safe after Hurricane Ida hit hometown

When Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, there was worry across the state about the rain and wind. The concern extended to Tallahassee, where FSU senior volleyball player Caroline Golden struggled to sleep while awaiting word that her parents made it through the storm.

“The wind and the trees were the main problem for me personally,” said Golden, whose family rode out the storm in Mandeville, La., a suburb of New Orleans. “I know the whole city of New Orleans is without power for two to three weeks. They were all kind of bunkered down in my mom’s room. They had a lot of protection. This really big tree, an oak tree in our backyard, it was five feet from my mom’s room. Luckily the wind blew it to where it fell the opposite way of the house. Thank God because everyone was in my mom’s room. That could have been a tough situation.”

Golden didn’t learn until the following morning after the worst of the storm had hit the Louisiana coast that her family was safe. Her parents, Steve and Patti, arrived in Tallahassee on Tuesday night to watch Caroline play but also so her dad could work remotely.

FSU has also welcomed the Tulane volleyball team, which has been on campus since last weekend. Tulane was set to play at FSU as part of the season-opening Four Points Tallahassee Seminole Volleyball Invitational, with Poole and FSU administrators opening the doors of Tully Gym as well as finding housing and planning meals for the Green Wave.

Poole said a few years ago that FSU players evacuated for Mobile and worked out on the South Alabama campus due to Tallahassee being in a hurricane’s path.

“I always look at it as paying forward because you never know when something is going to happen to yourself,” Poole said. “You want to help those fellow coaches and teams. It’s a sad situation what happens and your heart reaches out to know that it could just as easily be your team and your players and their experiences. I’m glad we were able to help out.”

The Seminoles (1-1) face the Green Wave (3-0) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. FSU follows with two matches on Friday: Samford at 11 a.m. and VCU at 6:30 p.m. All three matches will stream live on ACC Network Extra.

FSU defeated Northern Arizona in the opener before falling to Michigan at a tournament in Baton Rouge, La., last weekend. The Seminoles’ schedule the first weekend was adjusted due to Hurricane Ida so the team could leave ahead of the storm’s arrival on Sunday.

Donations to help those impacted by Hurricane Ida can be made to the Greater New Orleans Foundation.