Central Wisconsin native living in Lake Charles, Louisiana describes escaping Hurricane Laura

Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 6:53 PM CDT
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MARATHON CITY, Wis. (WSAW) - It’s been just over three weeks since Hurricane Laura made landfall on our nation’s Gulf Coast, the Category 4 hurricane killing six people and leaving widespread damage throughout Louisiana and Texas that will take years to rebuild.

Carol Minton moved from Marathon City to Lake Charles, Louisiana, one of the hardest hit areas by the storm, in 1986. She spoke exclusively with NewsChannel 7 about escaping to safety as the storm approached land.

“You have to leave town, you have to leave all your belongings behind after you’ve secured them,” Minton said. “Then you need to get to a safe place. You don’t know which way to go, if it’s to the right side; that’s the most dangerous side. If you go to the left, you’re probably better off.”

Carol went left, finding safety in San Antonio, Texas, before making her way to Houston.

Now visiting family in Marathon City, Carol is happy to escape the destruction that awaits her when she returns to her southern home, even if it’s just for a little while.

“It is a sanctuary,” Minton said. “You go where there’s love and you kind of forget what’s behind that you have to face when you go back.”

What she will face is a lot of rebuilding. While she says her mobile home wasn’t completely destroyed, there was a lot of damage including siding being ripped off, a whole in the roof and the home being shifted off of its foundation.

Still, for now the only thing Minton and thousands of others can do is wait.

“You feel kind of helpless staying there,” Minton said. “Coming up here is refreshing. Then you go back down there and you face the destruction and the insurance claims and rebuilding.”

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