LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A local dad made a work trip to Texas before his baby was scheduled to be delivered next week, but, as he was stuck in Texas along with others due to Imelda, he discovered his baby was coming earlier than they planned for.
“I wasn’t going to miss it. I told my wife hell or high water I was going to be here," Todd Hooper, the dad, said.
Hooper was in Bayou Vista, Texas for work when he got a call that his wife’s c-section would be moved up sooner than expected.
“I had a condition that caused my liver enzymes to be elevated. So, the doctors said we needed to get to the hospital and have this baby a few days early," Tiffany Hooper, Todd’s wife, said.
However, the conventional routes for Hooper to get back to Lake Charles were closed, which meant getting back in time would be a journey.
“I actually cut up through 146 north of Mont Belvieu up through Dayton across to Liberty and cut through on the north side of Kountze came in through Beaumont. Actually I was kind of lucky because I thought all of I-10 was shut down through there, but everything was just closed westbound and they actually had eastbound open letting people through,” Hooper said.
He said he was able to avoid flooded roads in Winnie, but still saw flooding when he drove through Beaumont.
“I came in through Beaumont and saw a lot of devastation through there, saw a little bit of concern with water on the roadways throughout there. Made a little bit difficult to come through there. At that point, it would have done me no good to rush," Hooper said.
Luckily for Hooper, he said he made it back safely with plenty of time to spare before his first son, Deacon Cole was delivered. When asked how excited he is to have his first son, he said, "I’m very very excited. It’s hard to raise a Florida gator in LSU tiger country, but we’re going to survive it.”
Deacon Cole Hooper was born healthy September 20 at seven pounds and four ounces at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women.