Residents Face the Damage Done by Laura

It was the most powerful hurricane ever to hit Louisiana
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2020 4:30 PM CDT
Residents Face the Damage Done by Laura
President Donald Trump tours damage from Hurricane Laura, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Lake Charles, La.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Residents in southwestern Louisiana embarked Saturday on the epic task of clearing away felled trees, ripped-off roofs and downed power lines after Hurricane Laura tore through parts of the state, the AP reports. The US toll from the Category 4 hurricane rose to 16 deaths, with more than half of those killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from the unsafe operation of generators. The latest deaths included an 80-year-old woman and an 84-year-old man who died from just such a poisoning. President Trump toured the damage from Laura in Louisiana and Texas on Saturday. He and Gov. John Bel Edwards made their way down a street blocked by trees and where houses were battered by the storm, which the governor said was the most powerful hurricane to strike the state.

That means it surpassed even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit 15 years ago on Saturday, to the day. Although the storm was not as bad as once feared, authorities were still warning it could leave people without running water or power for weeks. It made roads impassable, tore roofs and walls off buildings, and strew debris about. It also led to fires at a chlorine plant in Westlake in the hard-hit Lake Charles area. In Lake Charles, a city of 80,000 residents hit head on, Mayor Nic Hunter said the National Guard would begin handing out tarps Sunday to residents so they could cover damaged roofs. "There is a time to cry and to be sad and there's a time to pick up, too," said a resident. "You have to pick yourself up and keeping going and my strength comes from God and my fiance." (Read more about the damage wreaked by Laura.)

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