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Vacationing Lafayette resident caught in storm in Florida

Posted at 5:39 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 20:07:17-04

As Hurricane Sally slowly makes landfall, the Gulf of Mexico is churning, the surge covering the powder white sand of Navarre Beach, Florida. The water stretches beyond the dunes and the rain is whipping, not letting up.

"I've been through several hurricanes in my lifetime, but never one this close to the Gulf of Mexico. We're right on it. It was pounding on the building all night long. We didn't get much sleep," said Tommy Hays.

Hays and his family are from Lafayette. Like many, he didn't expect Sally's path to shift eastward or for it to upgrade to a category two at the last minute.

"In hindsight, maybe we should have gotten out of here," added Hays. "But I wasn't real worried about the hurricane winds. I was mostly worried about tornadoes."

Hays says from their unit, they can see some light fixtures and a fence down. Power is out and for now, the bridge from the island is closed until the winds subside.

"This is not what I had in mind to be doing while on vacation," Hays said.

In New Orleans, the conditions have improved along the Lakefront. Lake Pontchartrain is still choppy, but the water has receded from the street. People are out exercising, enjoying the sights and the breeze while it lasts.

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