Allen Park — For the second time in a month, the family of a Lions player is directly in the path of a natural disaster.
The families of Glover Quin, Eric Ebron, D.J. Hayden, Don Muhlbach and special teams coach Joe Marciano escaped relatively unscathed after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Houston-area late last month. Now, cornerback Nevin Lawson’s relatives, including his parents, are in the path of Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 hurricane bearing down on south Florida.
Hurricanes are nothing new for Lawson’s family, natives of Fort Lauderdale. And like many others they’ve experienced, there’s no plans to evacuate. They’re set to ride Irma out.
“I’m kind of nervous, but this isn’t the first hurricane my parents have been through, especially my pop,” Lawson said. “I know he’s going to do a good job preparing for it. The only thing we can do is prepare and pray.”
Lawson said the worst hurricane he could remember was Wilma, a 2005 storm that caused an estimated $16.8 billion in damages to the state.
“I remember all the power went out throughout the whole city, for weeks,” Lawson said. “We also had some flooding.”
Fort Lauderdale isn’t much above sea level, and after seeing the extent of the flooding in Houston after Harvey, Lawson did admit he’s a little more concerned than he’d normally be.
“Everybody's kind of been focused on what happened in Houston, and it was a tragedy, but we're seeing that Houston was a huge water effect, huge rain effect,” Fort Lauderdale mayor said in an interview with WBUR-FM earlier this week. “We're more concerned about storm surge. If the storm surge comes with a high tide, and a storm surge comes with a strong wind out of the east, that's going push a lot of water into low-lying areas. That's not necessarily rain, that's the ocean coming up.”
Lawson said his dad is especially adept at preparing for hurricanes. The family’s checklist includes boarding up the windows, stockpiling on water and dry food, filling up all vehicles with gas and having charcoal grill supplies for cooking if the power is knocked out.
Irma is set to hit Fort Lauderdale Saturday and Sunday, when the Lions open the season at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The coaching staff has said family always comes first, but the starting cornerback doesn’t anticipate the storm being a distraction on game day.
“When I’m at work, nothing else is on my mind,” Lawson said. “I will be paying close attention to it, but I know my parents wouldn’t want me to worry while I’m playing in a game.”
MORE LIONS COVERAGE