This man lost his home to Laura, but nature saved him this

KTRK logo
Friday, August 28, 2020
This man lost his home to Laura, but nature saved him this
"It's personal when it's you. You know there's other people in the same situation. It doesn't make it any easier."

CAMERON, Louisiana (KTRK) -- In the daylight hours after Hurricane Laura made landfall in Cameron, Louisiana, the damage was evident. This was a catastrophic storm.

It was reported as one of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Laura barreled across Louisiana very early on Thursday morning, shearing off roofs, killing at least six people and maintaining ferocious strength while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

In the midst of the chaos and destruction, a photo of a cookie recipe written on a piece of paper triggered emotions tied to losing something you love, and realizing life's sacred treasures.

ABC13's Investigative Reporter Ted Oberg, who has covered devastating disasters all throughout his extensive broadcasting career, posted a photo on Facebook of a cookie recipe card, the kind your mother would save and give to you to keep.

It was sitting in water on an empty lot where someone's home once stood.

The photo of the recipe on social media touched a nerve with viewers, who could relate to the simple family treasure. One woman commented, "Prayers for Louisiana! Wrote the recipe down! Going to name them Laura's Sour Cream Cookies."

"The things you lose," wrote Oberg. "Clearly, the recipe hits home. There's no emotional connection to warped tin roofs and shingles and toppled AC units - but everyone knows their mom's favorite cookies."

The home that housed those memories and the beloved cookie recipe belongs to Dale Anderson.

Anderson and his wife lived in a mobile home south of Lake Charles. Wednesday night, as the storm was moving in, they were in Katy, far from the eye of the storm, but his house was right under it.

The following morning, there was nothing left. The mobile home was in pieces on his front yard. The metal base was overturned. Anderson had gone through the yard picking up paper towels and baby wipes.

"My wife will want these," he said.

When asked about looking for more sentimental things, Anderson fought back tears, admitting he wasn't certain where to start.

"Part of me just wants to start over," he said.

That cookie recipe found in a drainage ditch belonged to Anderson's wife.

"Those were her mother's," he said when Oberg pointed them out. He fished a few out of the water and looked in an overturned drawer for more. The drawer once held all the recipes, but now, it's empty.

"It was devastating to say the least," said Anderson as he toured his now empty lot in Cameron alongside Oberg on Thursday. "We knew [the home] was destroyed, but when you look at it, you say, 'That was my home.'"

Anderson said he took time to see what was left of his home, but said he became filled with the thought of having to start over.

"First step, initially, is you hope for the best," said Anderson. "Then when they tell you it's gone, you cry."

"It's personal when it's you," said Anderson when asked if he found comfort in knowing he's not the only one living through the devastation. "You know there's other people in the same situation. It doesn't make it any easier. You just know you're not by yourself, but it doesn't necessarily make it any easier."