While his family evacuated to Houston, Zahid Mohammad stayed behind in Lake Charles worrying about his home and the gas stations they own.
When the storm took direct aim at the town, he left at the last minute for Baton Rouge.
"Man, to be honest, I didn't want to leave. But after I see this damage, next time they tell me there's a hurricane coming, I don't care if it's category one, two or three, I am leaving," he said.
The businesses will be closed for quite some time. A few of them flooded, others were crushed by Laura's winds, and so was Zahid's home.
"I lost my house. It basically looks like it's cut in half. There were a couple of truckstops, we lost them both. A few stores. It's devastating actually," he said. "Pumps are missing. Like two-ton canopies are just nowhere to be seen. We have a truck stop, we have a 15-ton price sign, and it just disappeared."
He's thankful his family was safe in Houston, and none of his friends or workers were hurt. But he knows the climb up out of the rubble and back toward normal will be steep.
"I realized that Lake Charles isn't Lake Charles anymore," he said. "It's going to take weeks, to take heart. It's going to take everybody working together to get back to where we need to be."
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Family who evacuated to Houston watched as Laura destroyed their home and business
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