Lake view

The view of downtown Lake Charles after Hurricane Laura damages the Civic Center and the firmer Capital One Tower. 

By Lisa Addison

laddison@americanpress.com

Last Wednesday night, as Hurricane Laura approached Lake Charles, my kids and I huddled together on our kitchen floor, away from windows and objects. We had blankets, pillows, snacks, water, and each other.

It was fun for awhile, kind of like camping out. We laughed, listened to music, and talked about everything and nothing.

Then it wasn’t fun anymore. Thankfully, I was raised by a strong woman and in turn my children are being raised by a strong woman. We don’t fold.

The hurricane had arrived. Wind began picking up, hurling debris against our doors, house, windows, and garage door with a fury. Power went out almost immediately.

We didn’t cry or fall apart. We held hands and prayed.

The wind got stronger and sounded like a freight train. It kept going and going. It sounded like someone was throwing baseballs against our doors.

At some point, we heard glass breaking. We held hands tighter and prayed harder.

It wasn’t over yet - the eye wall was about to come through. The wind and rain were so ferocious that it sounded like our doors were about to come down. We could hear items pelting our house and garage door. The scariest thing was when our home - a sturdy brick house - swayed or shook for a second.

There was then an eerie stillness that felt ominous.

We looked at each other and then hugged with relief, thanking God we had survived a Category 4 hurricane and still had a home.

We checked windows and found broken glass in my son’s room as well as my daughter’s room. We decided we would all stay in my room and try to sleep for a few hours.

As the sun came up, I looked out the window and gasped. There were uprooted trees, downed power lines, scattered roof tiles, fences knocked down, and debris as far as the eye could see.

Yes, it did look like a war zone. That’s a cliche but an apt one to describe the devastation.

We stayed in our home the next couple of days but we are fortunate to be with family now, with a generator, window units, plenty of food and water, and a brother-in-law who can fix just about anything.

The other night I got a cold shower and it felt like heaven. A simple ham sandwich with chips on the side tasted as good as any gourmet meal I have ever had.

Simple things really are the best things.

It will take awhile for our beautiful city to recover. We have some long days and uncertainties to wade through.

But I have no doubt at all that we are going to make it.

We can survive anything; we already have.

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