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Benilde Basketball Coach Has Close Connection To Hurricane Ida

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The difficult recovery from Hurricane Ida has begun.

It's a different kind of challenge for Minnesotans who can't be with family members in Louisiana.
Damian Johnson, the varsity boys' basketball coach at Benilde-St. Margaret's has been navigating the first week of school while also doing his best to watch over his parents from afar.
At times, it's been difficult to reach them.
"If their phone battery's running low, they have to go put it in the car to charge it," Johnson said. "That's the only way they can charge their phones."
Power's been out since Sunday, and it'll likely be weeks before Johnson's family gets theirs back.
He says this week has been tough on his children.
"My kids are concerned about their grandparents, and they watch the news, they see what's going on with the damage and the images, so that caused them to have a little more anxiety," Johnson said.
He says it was too late for his parents to evacuate, so they boarded up windows and hoped for the best. Their fence was destroyed but overall, Johnson says it was about as good as you can hope for.
"The winds were coming at 150 miles [per hour], and they received an alert on their phone to take cover when it got really bad," he said. "Then you've got other family members where you don't know how much they're going to lose."
Johnson's parents told him Ida was the strongest hurricane they've lived through, but he says that's what Louisianans do. He likened hurricanes to blizzards in Minnesota.
"It's one of the times where the community is the strongest in my opinion, which is a great thing," Johnson said.

Johnson says his parents may come to Minnesota to stay with him for a while.

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