Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Storm Brings Back Tough Memories for Fournette

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Storm Brings Back Tough Memories for Fournette

Article excerpt

Byline: John Reid

After watching dramatic rescues and entire neighborhoods in Houston underwater because of castastropic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Jaguars' running back Leonard Fournette says it brings back memories when his family was adversely impacted by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans 12 years ago.

Fournette recalled earlier this week how their family home in Slidell, La., was washed away by Katrina floodwaters when he was 10 years old that forced him and his family to live on the Interstate 10 bridge in New Orleans for five days, four nights in which they had to loot for food and water in a flooded convenience store to survive.

The 12th anniversary of the storm making landfall on Aug. 29, 2005 occurred on Tuesday.

Fournette and his family were eventually rescued, transported by bus to a shelter in Baton Rouge, La., before temporarily relocating to Portland, Texas, while his father rebuilt the family home in Slidell. When Harvey made landfall on Friday, Portland, Texas was battered by 130 mph winds and flooding.

"It reminds me of Katrina and you know that's tough times, man,'' Fournette said. "I don't know what's really going on. I don't know if they have lights or whatever the case may be. But my prayers are with them.

"They are going to get through it, no matter what. To me that should be their motivation. At the end of the day, the same thing happened to me with Katrina. That was my whole motivation, that what made me into the man that I am today.''

On Wednesday afternoon, Fournette announced on social media that he is donating $50,000 to the people of Houston, saying they were in his prayers.

The NFL has not made a decision yet if the Jaguars' Sept. 10 season opener against the Texans will moved from Houston to possibly Jacksonville. But Texans coach Bill O'Brien told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday that if NRG Stadium is ready to go, it is important to play the game at home to give their fansa chance to cheer and temporarily forget about their problems resulting from the flooding. …

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