Hurricane Laura: Tacoma native weathers the storm

VIDEO: Tacoma native living near Gulf Coast describes area as Laura moves in

TACOMA, Wash. — Hurricane Laura’s bands delivered relentless winds and rains overnight to Tacoma native Jill Stewart’s home in New Iberia, Louisiana, roughly two hours by car from where the storm made landfall as a dangerous Category 4 hurricane.

“Very, very nasty,” said Stewart, who told KIRO 7 Thursday her family didn’t rest overnight as the storm pounded the Gulf Coast.

Stewart said her home lost power but wasn’t damaged. She shared pictures of downed power lines nearby.

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“They are saying put your name, social security number and contact number in a Ziploc bag and put it in your pants pockets,” said Stewart in an interview from Louisiana with KIRO 7 before the storm made landfall. A tornado warning was later issued for her area. “So this is something that’s very scary to us.”

Stewart, who said her family moved from Washington to Louisiana last June for her husband’s job, has never weathered a hurricane. She said her parish was under curfew but evacuating her area, north of Cypremort Point, was still voluntary Wednesday evening.

“Right now we’re hunkering down, trying to stay safe,” said Stewart. “My nerves are shot. I feel like I’ve had about 90 cups of coffee.”

Some Washingtonians visiting the Gulf Coast cut trips short to avoid the storm and caught the last flights out of the region Wednesday evening.

“We only got to be there for 24 hours,” said Sarah Riley, who was headed home to Skagit County from New Orleans. “Not wanting to mess with the unknown and just get home to our kids and be safe.”