LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The strongest hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana has done significant damage to McNeese University.
Without question Hurricane Laura has done a ton of damage to southwest Louisiana including the McNeese facilities behind me. But there is a little bit of hope because the city of lake Charles will rebuild and the people in this community cannot ever be broken.
“It was emotional when I first saw it. It was like a punch in the gut,” McNeese interm athletic director and head men’s basketball coach Heath Schroyer said. “As hard as that was, the great thing about this community is the people. To see our community come together, to see the McNeese family, Poke Nation rise to the occasion and continue to do that just made me fall in love with this place all over again.”
Nearly everyone in Calcashiu parish is without power and many water. But let’s not focus on the negatives. The positives are that buildings and objects can be replaced. For McNeese athletics, their plan is to start the rebuilding process immediately.
“Right now we’re just getting a game plan. As a coach, that’s what we do. You deal with it personally. But, this is something I personally have never felt with. We’re going to get a game plan. We’re putting one in place right now and we’re going to start building,”Schroyer said.
McNeese athletics may have suffered extreme damage to brand new complexes on campus that could cost millions to recreate. Heath Schroyer assures McNeese will come back better than ever.
“We’re going to build this university back. We’re going to build this athletic department back. We’re going to end up being bigger and better and a lot tougher than we were before,” said Schroyer.
The road to recovery will not be easy, but Schroyer believes Southwest Louisiana houses some of the strongest people in the country.
“Our community is tough. They are resilient. They are hard working. They are connected right now, more than I’ve ever seen before. It’s an unbelievable sight to see,” said Schroyer. “As hard as it is to see construction in a lot of places, it’s just as great to see how this community is rallying together.”
Of course we’ll continue to keep you updated on our Facebook page as well as our mobile app as we continue to keep you updated on the recovery process.