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Hurricane Katrina survivor paying it forward, helping Ida evacuees in Brazos County

Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 18:51:33-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — With millions of people feeling the effects of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, some have sought help right here in the Brazos Valley.

A local restaurant owner who knows first hand what it's like to rebuild after a hurricane.

Korey Thomas, co-owner of Remnants of Nawlins, is cooking up some Jambalaya and green beans at his restaurant, Remnants of Nawlins in Bryan.

"We're trying to stretch it as far as we can possibly stretch it," Thomas said.

The co-owner is giving away free meals to family members and anyone else who relocated to the area due to Hurricane Ida which ripped through New Orleans Sunday.

"I have like eight or nine that's here personally, and then I have people that came here," Thomas said.

One of those family members is his sister, Lasonda Pierre.

"It has helped us a great deal. We come here. We eat, and he even sends us home with food, to the hotel," Pierre said.

Pierre and her family rode out the storm in Hammond, Louisiana – north of New Orleans.

"It was the scariest moment in my life. I never experienced anything like that, and I don't want to ever experience anything like that again," Pierre said.

Not knowing where else to go, Thomas told Pierre to come to Bryan-College Station.

"When I came here, we didn't have anything. We didn't get a chance to leave and prep," Thomas said.

It's the same community that helped Thomas and his family get back on their feet 16 years ago after Hurricane Katrina.

"I've been in that situation. One of the reasons why I want to do what I can do is because of the love I received when I got here from Hurricane Katrina," Thomas said.

Using his own money and community donations, he's provided meals, covered the cost of hotel rooms, and even bought clothes for children, knowing firsthand how hard it is to rebuild.

"Going through what I went through and my family, almost every storm I say 'y'all need to leave,'" Thomas said.

"I'm just praying for everyone that's still at home, that couldn't get out. That just don't have anywhere to turn or don't have anywhere to go. Know that I am praying for ya'll," Pierre said.