FRISCO, Texas -- When Andre Hal saw the pictures of the flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, his mind went straight to Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans 12 years ago on Tuesday.
Hal was 13. He remembers eating MREs -- meals usually provided to soldiers that are ready to eat as is -- for two weeks after the storm came through. Hal is from Port Allen, Louisiana, which is about an hour-and-a-half from New Orleans.
"It was just sad," Hal said. "But what kept me up was my family. My family is really tight. So hopefully we can get back to Houston sooner or later and bring them up like that.
"It was tough on my family. I have family in New Orleans, too, and they stayed with us for two weeks. It was just sad seeing everything gone. Some people lost everything. It was tough for them."
Teammate Treston Decoud, the Houston Texans' fifth-round draft pick, is from Covington, Louisiana. He had the opportunity to play at the Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, something he called a dream come true, with around 20 family members in attendance. On Sunday, Decoud donated to the Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey because he wanted to help in the way he was helped during Hurricane Katrina.
"I've been through this before with Hurricane Katrina, so my heart and prayers are out to the people in Houston, [which] is my new home," Decoud said. "So I just felt like it was only right that I was able to bless somebody and give. So I thought it was only right to help in any which way I can."
Decoud could barely talk about what happened when Hurricane Katrina hit. He was forced to evacuate and lost a lot in the floods. It's an emotional topic for Decoud, who said, "I'm glad it's over with, and my family bounced back from it, so I thank God for that."
Now Decoud hopes he and his Texans teammates can make a real impact in Houston when they return from the Dallas area.
"That's our home," Decoud said. "Ain't no place like home. That's where we stay, that's our community, that's our neighborhood. So as a player and as a person, as a human being, it's our responsibility in my eyes to help in whatever way we can, even if we have to go out there ourselves and help rebuild. Whatever we have to do, I think that will be a good thing for this team."