Residents prepare and voice concerns about 2012 hurricane season

Residents prep for hurricane season

CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Hurricane season is just around the corner, but citizens along the east coast are already dealing with their first named tropical storm. So are folks here in southwest Louisiana ready for the 2012 season?

Some Holly Beach residents are just settling in to their homes or camps after rebuilding from Hurricane Rita, just in time for this season. Residents are expressing very different opinions about the next few months.

You can buy supplies, put gas in your car and board up your windows, but residents along the coast agree: you can never fully prepare for a hurricane headed your way. And with the 2012 season  just days away, some Holly Beach residents are concerned, but surprisingly, others aren't.

"We were born and raised here, and we've lived through many many hurricanes and we've lived through a lot of storms and it really isn't a concern," said Arthur and Linda Schafer. "I know that there are problems that can happen and there have been some devastating things that have happened, but we don't think about the negative. We just keep thinking it's going to be good."

The Schafer's are Lafayette natives, but are looking to possibly buy a home on Holly Beach. The threat of possibly losing a home is not a major concern.

"If I felt like it was just going to be a really terrible, terrible storm, I'm smart enough to get in my car and get out," said Linda. "I think we've been very fortunate."

Jacob Hortman first moved into a camp on Holly Beach in the 90s. Hurricane Rita wiped out his family's camp before, and they just finished their new one.  

"We're glad to be back down and some of the neighbors that we had back then have rebuilt," said Hortman. "So they're here. And we're meeting other people in the neighborhood who also have built down here."

Before the camp stood just three feet off the ground. Now, it's 19 feet up.  

"If we do get a direct hit, nothing is going to save us," said Hortman. "Maybe if we catch just a part of one, we'll have a stronger chance of surviving than what we had before."

Hortman says if another storm comes this way he will probably rebuild again.

"A home that's been rebuilt down here to code is about as hurricane resistant as it can be," said Hortman. "Nothing is hurricane proof, but hopefully we can withstand a lot more than what we could without it."  

Hortman says the main draw to Holly Beach are the people. He calls it as "close to Mayberry" as you can get. The Schafer's agree.

"People here are strong," said Linda. "A lot of spirit, a lot of faith, a lot of hope. People here don't give up. They just never give up."

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1, just less than two weeks from now. That gives you a little more time to get supplies and prepare evacuation routes, just in case they're needed.

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