Yukon man deployed to Gulf Coast

Rod Sands setting up Red Cross shelters in hurricane affected areas

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A Yukon man is helping the Red Cross set up shelters in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura along the Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Laura made landfall about 1 a.m. Thursday about 35 miles east of the Texas border in Louisiana, according to reports.

The Category 2 hurricane had damaging winds and caused flooding in central and western Louisiana Thursday morning, the National Weather Service reported.

A life-threatening storm surge continued along the Louisiana coastline Thursday morning.

Rod Sands, 56, was in Houston Thursday morning where he had helped set up emergency shelters in Texas before the storm hit.

However, the storm hit further east, and the shelters were not needed in Texas.

“I’m in Houston, Texas. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day,” Sands said. “We’ve been setting up shelters here in Houston, but we may be moved to another area.”

Sindey Ellington, the executive director of the Red Cross of Oklahoma Central chapter, said Texas Red Cross officials will make the decision as to where to move to respond to the disaster.

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Sands said damage was reported east of Beaumont, Texas in the Port Arthur, Texas area as well as in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Sands said he did not know how long he will be near the Gulf Coast, but he expected to find out more as information became available about the damage and needs of the people affected.

Sands is a former train conductor who worked for Union Pacific Railroad and lives in Yukon now. He works as a volunteer Red Cross shelter supervisor.

Meanwhile, the hurricane hit near Cameron, Louisiana Thursday. The storm had been a Category 4 strength with 150 mph late Wednesday, but was downgraded to a Category 2 after landfall.