BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU junior right tackle Toby Weathersby has one request for his grandparents who live on Houston’s north side: please leave.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, an emotional Weathersby expressed concern for his grandparents, Billy and Jackie Stokes, who are hunkered in their Houston home as flood waters creep ever closer.
“Hopefully my prayers reach over to my grandparents so they can hear me right now tell them try to get out,” said Weathersby, who is a Houston native. “I know people that’s willing to go over on a boat and go get them, but right now they aren’t listening. It’s kind of hard and frustrating.”
The situation is so dire that Weathersby admits he nearly made a very poor decision on Sunday night, filling up his pickup truck with the intention of driving from Baton Rouge to Houston to rescue his grandparents. His intention was to bring the family to stay with him in Baton Rouge until the floodwaters recede.
“Last night I filled my truck up. I was fittin’ to be stupid,” Weathersby said. “But I came to the realization that I had to leave it to the professionals, man. I wanted to so bad.”
Weathersby said no one talked him out of the decision. He himself realized how foolish it would be to drive into a flooded area in the middle of the night.
“A four-hour drive, and there ain’t no telling what roads are closed off and what’s underwater and what’s not,” he said.
Like many areas in Houston, his grandparents’ neighborhood in the Briarcreek subdivision has taken on heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey. An estimated 23.5 inches hit northwest Houston over the weekend with more rain expected this week.
Weathersby’s grandparents rode out Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and are determined to do so again.
“They’re being so stubborn,” Weathersby said. “They’ve been through many hurricanes. Like Allison a long time ago. That was one of the worst we’ve had in Houston, and kind of tore their house up. They’re set in their ways where they don’t want to lose their house. They’re just trying to ride it out.”
Weathersby’s mother, Nakia, lives in a second-floor apartment and tried to convince her parents to stay there. So far it has been to no avail.
“My concern is trying to convince them to get out before it gets any worse,” he said. “You try to stay positive, but we all know it’s still raining. Certain parts of Houston are underwater right now.”
Weathersby has been in communication with his grandparents, who insist all is well despite the fact both of their vehicles are now submerged. His concern is that they are putting on a positive front so as not to distract him from the task that lies ahead of him this week — LSU’s season-opener against BYU, which was scheduled to take place at Houston’s NRG Stadium but will now be moved.
“They’re telling me one thing, but I know the situation and how bad the flooding gets in the neighborhood. They don’t want to leave,” he said. “If I was there, I would literally pick them up and drag them out of there. Right now I can just wish and pray everything will be all right.”
Last week, Weathersby spoke of how excited he was to return to his hometown for the Tigers’ season opener. Now he doesn’t know when he’ll see home again.
“I was so excited just to come home,” he said. “Now I won’t be able to go home ’til December or January. Wherever we move the game to, I know my people won’t be able to make it because highways are underwater.”
For Weathersby, the top priority now is making sure his grandparents are safe and sound for whenever his now-delayed homecoming takes place.
“They’ve been living there 20-something years. That’s the fort. They want to hold it down,” he said. “But you’ve got to let go and let God take the wheel. We can always get another home. You can’t replace a life.”
He said his biggest concern is that if the water gets too high, his grandmother would not be able to swim to safety.
“I know I can’t swim. I know my grandpa can, but I don’t know about my grandma,” he said. “That’s one of those things that kind of pisses me off. Can you at least listen to me and get out of there?”
The post LSU right tackle Toby Weathersby pleads for grandparents to leave Houston home appeared first on SEC Country.
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