LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The damage to the 22-story Capital One Tower in downtown Lake Charles is a daily reminder of how hard the town was hit.
However, many are helping to pick-up the pieces and some are making something out of them.
Two friends saw the mess Hurricane Laura caused as an opportunity to make something in remembrance of the icon.
“As a child I would always pass over the 210 bridge and you would just see this building just reflecting the sun and water and it was just absolutely beautiful. It’s just an icon and a symbol of this community,” said Rachel Sollay.
After a trip away, the Capital One Tower reminds Lake Charles residents that they are back home, but now it’s a grim reminder of mother nature’s wrath for most.
Luckily, some were able to find beauty within the damage.
“I looked down and this was actually the first piece of glass I saw and I picked it up and thought this would be so pretty on a necklace.”
When she posted her idea on Facebook she received an overwhelming response because the building holds a special place in the hearts of many.
“So many people saying, ‘I used to work in the Capital One building’ or ‘oh my goodness, I remember that building when I was a child’, ‘my grandfather helped build the capital one tower and he’s since passed away I would love to have a piece of that’.”
With the help of a local glass artist, picking-up the pieces was born and the glass the storm left on the ground now has a second life.
Magnets, necklaces, rear view mirror ornaments, and key chains have been added to the inventory.
“Every piece that we’re finding out here is different and it’s unique and I think everyone can relate that this is a memory, this a part of the icon and this is my own personal struggle with the hurricane.”
Making a profit was never a thought. She just wanted to do her part to help clean the town.
But, a friend suggested using the proceeds to support recovery efforts financially.
So, every dollar they make goes directly back into the community.
“There’s a lot of people coming in from around the country right now, so, I think once they leave they are going to have to go home eventually and there will still be a need here and I think in the next few weeks we’ll see where that lingering need really is and that’s where we’ll come in.”
“We’re just so thankful for all of the positive responses we’ve gotten back for this and we’re excited that everybody wants to help as much as we do,” said Sarah O’neil.
Picking-up the damage also ensures the local wildlife isn’t injured by the debris.
If you are interested in checking out more of the pieces, you can find their group page on Facebook.