Tayte Doddy has seen the graphic images. But the news from his family has been as reassuring as he could have hoped. And right now, that's the only thing that matters.
The University of Pennsylvania sophomore defensive back has lived most of his life in Houston, which has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey in the past few days. Fortunately, his mother and older brother got out before the worst hit; they headed to Dallas (a 250-mile drive) to stay with his aunt. Still, he knows that not everyone down there has been so fortunate. Even many of the people from his old neighborhood are dealing with a lot of issues that might not go away anytime soon.
"We live in The Woodlands," just north of the city," Doddy said. "We used to be in Humble, and that's where some of the bad flooding is. My friends, they're walking through puddles that are 3-, 4-feet high on their streets. A lot of them go to school at U of H [the University of Houston]. I don't know what they're going to do.
"I actually wasn't worried at first. It was going to be like a Category 2 hurricane. So I wasn't following it on the Weather Channel or anything. Then I started seeing some stuff on Twitter. It's a lot worse than I thought. I don't know how our house is. But everybody's safe. They were gone when it really hit. I haven't really talked to them much. You just hope everything can be contained. But you don't know. At the end of the day, if everyone's OK, it's good. But it's not a good situation."
Four others on the team are also from the Houston area, all freshmen. But coach Ray Priore said that as far as they knew, none of their families was in any serious harm.
"It reminded me of Hurricane Katrina [in 2005] and Hurricane Rita [three weeks later]," Doddy said. "I was younger, but I remember that. Rita wasn't that bad, but it still took power, and a lot of people were stranded. … I mean, all I can do is just talk to God about it, ask for protection and for us to be able to do what we can do from here on.