Hurricane Laura 2 years later: FOX 10′s Lee Peck’s parents finally home
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Two years ago Southwest Louisiana was bracing for Hurricane Laura. The category four storm -- would make landfall August 27th -- ripping Lake Charles apart. Many people there losing their homes overnight -- including the parents of FOX 10′s Lee Peck.
After two very long years -- they finally moved back in last month. Lee’s mom catching up on lost time in her new kitchen.
“I like to mix up my |Crisco... My chocolate chip cookies are made with good ole Crisco,” said Mary Ellen Slaydon, Lee’s Mom.
In addition to chocolate chip cookies -- her specialty also includes her famous red velvet cakes!
“I love to bake -- and I love to take it to people. I’ve missed being able to do that because where we were living did not have a big kitchen... and we just made do. So this is real nice,” said Mary Ellen.
While it may not seem like a big deal -- it’s something she hasn’t been able to do in her own kitchen in two years. Hurricane Laura -- leaving their house in shambles. With two trees falling inside and a lot of water damage -- they’d live in their other house 30 minutes north as the reconstruction got underway.
“And I didn’t think it would take two years... You think I’ll be in by say December or say the middle of the month,” said Mary Ellen.
Two Christmases and a lot of other holidays would come and go as the work inside and outside continued.
“You don’t realize all of the things behind the scenes that has to be done -- before you can put the sheetrock up, before you can paint, before you can do the air-conditioning, before you can put in flooring,” explained Mary Ellen.
Moving in last month -- she and my stepdad are settling into a new but old routine as she shows us around the house.
“We used to call it the ‘blue room’ because it was painted blue... It’s kinda like a den... It’s where I come and watch tv,” said Mary Ellen.
The kitchen -- updated with new granite countertops, new appliances, backsplash, paint, and flooring throughout.
“I think it turned out real well -- this is the only room that I painted with some color,” said Mary Ellen.
While the footprint of the house remained the same -- one of the big changes came in the living room.
“At one time we had a fireplace... And we took that out because of the damage that was done to that,” said Mary Ellen.
New furniture has been hit or miss. The pandemic causing a backup.
“Hopefully -- the sofa will come in soon. When I ordered it -- they told me it would be 9 months and it’s been a year,” said Mary Ellen.
But that’s okay -- she’s really enjoying that new kitchen. As she prepares those cookies -- she’s paying it forward to the unexpected care package given in a time of need from the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office -- who had a crew on the ground in Lake Charles in the days and weeks after the storm -- feeding first responders.
She’s now sending me (Lee) back to the Port City -- with something sweet for a kindness she’ll never forget.
“I know it’s two years coming -- but I’m very thankful for what they did. It meant a lot and especially because they did because of you Lee... I want to say thank you to them for all that they do,” said Mary Ellen.
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