Families here fear for relatives in storm’s path

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 6:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There were howling winds and devastating destruction as Hurricane Laura stormed the Louisiana coast with 150 mph winds.

And as nighttime turned into daylight, the effects of the category 4 hurricane not only felt by those in Louisiana — but in South Carolina, too.

“There is not a structure that I have seen without any damage according to pictures and videos that I have witnessed,” Tricia Blalock said.

“It was concerning knowing they were going to take a direct hit from the eye.”

Blalock lives in Columbia, S.C., but her sister lives in Lake Charles, La. She was worried when her sister chose not to evacuate and decided to weather the storm.

In the path of the storm, 500,000 were ordered to evacuate, but coronavirus is the reason many didn’t.

“Number one is actually COVID. For that reason, they have been quarantined for the last six months. Their safe haven is their house,” Blalock said.

But officials with our local American Red Cross say shelters are still a safe space.

“We feel confident that these measures will help keep everyone safe and that’s proven to be the case as we’ve already gone through this in Florida,” said Susan Everitt, executive director of American Red Cross of East-Central Georgia.

Blalock says her sister and family got lucky.

“I think they are fortunate. They did take every precaution. Had they not seen that they needed the structure that they were in, they felt confident enough that it could withstand the hurricane force winds,” Blalcok said.

“When it was calm, she was able to give me a call and the rest of the family know that all is well, they were ok, and they were safe,” she continued.

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