Hurricane Laura made landfall on the coast of Louisiana on Thursday, Aug. 27, affecting many southern Texas natives who call Oklahoma Christian University home during the fall.
Sophomore Joey Stofer has family in Houston. According to Stofer, Houston natives are familiar with hurricane threats.
“Hurricanes are not anything new for my family down there,” Stofer said. “They have a system and are ready to evacuate in these times if need be.”
A few days before landfall, Laura was proclaimed a tropical storm instead of a full-fledged hurricane for the surrounding Houston areas. This allowed families to stay put and weather the storm without taking as much damage.
“I was happy to hear that the area where my family lives wasn’t going to get hit too hard,” Stofer said. “They were able to stay but obviously did take precautions.”
Stofer said precautions included taking boats out of nearby lakes, stocking up on food and having a place to go in case evacuation was necessary.
“My family prepared for possible flooding by taking their boat out of the lake and had plans in case it was worse than expected,” Stofer said. “Again, this isn’t anything new. It is part of living in the area.”
Hurricane Laura was not as severe as Hurricane Harvey in 2017 or Hurricane Ike in 2008. Following those two hurricanes, organizations and churches from the area and all over the United States stepped up to provide relief and help rebuild. According to Stofer, the response to Hurricane Laura is not as widespread, but people are still taking action.
Churches in and around the surrounding areas of Houston are helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura by taking donations, providing meals and cleaning the areas that were hit hard.
“My church in Dallas usually will go down and help victims, clean, rebuild and things like that,” Stofer said. “We did go after Harvey but not this time, but I do know that churches in the area, including my family, are not ignoring Laura.”
Stofer gave some final thoughts on the hurricane. “We are blessed that my family is okay and the area they are in wasn’t hit very hard,” Stofer said. “Other surrounding areas weren’t as lucky. Those are the ones that need our thoughts and prayers.”