LAKE CHARLES, La. (NewsNation Now) — While the coastline may be pivoting to Sally, Hurricane Laura is still very real in the eyes of Louisianans who live in the Lake Charles area. It’s a long road to recovery during a hurricane season that shows no signs of letting up.
“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For God is with me, and thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me,” recited Jasmine Harris of Iowa, Louisiana.
The violent turbulence of Laura is a day she and her husband, Braylon, describe as “total darkness.”
“We didn’t talk pretty much all that week about it,” said Braylon Harris. “’Hurricane’s coming’– that’s every other week now!”
Jasmine, who has called Louisiana home her entire life, wanted to ride out the storm at home with Braylon and their four children.
“I said we could buy up everything at Sam’s Club,” she said. “We can buy some boarding and board up everything.”
But a little parental intuition and a word of advice from their reverend, and the family packed up a few hours before Laura struck. They moved 40 miles inland to stay with grandparents.
“It’s one thing to board up the house, we can do that. Step two—get the food, get the flashlights. We can do that. If this goes wrong…That’s when you really start thinking about the kids,” said Braylon.
In their wildest imagination, they never thought they’d be returning home without one.
Jasmine remains emotional three weeks later thinking that her children—including a son with special needs– almost weathered the storm within these walls.
“There’s no roof,” she said. “No roof in the living area, no roof in the dining area. And I think about just how loud that would have been. Because my son – he’s so special—and he fears thunder and lightning and we have noise canceling headphones for him. But had he been in that situation, I don’t know if today he’d be able to sleep soundly.”
The couple is surrounded by an outpouring of love from a community who understands their pain and loss. Braylon—a pastor himself—says he’s leaning on faith more than ever to help him stand after the blow from Goliath that came in the form of Laura.
“Favorite verse right? Twas grace that brought us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home. It’s just that simple.”