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South Louisiana Faces Long Recovery After Hurricane Laura


South Louisiana is facing months of recovery and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Laura.

Hurricane Laura Linked to 12 Louisiana Deaths, 4 in Texas

The historic storm roared ashore near the Texas-Louisiana border early last Thursday evening as a Category 4 hurricane. While Texas was spared the worst of Laura’s wrath, the massive hurricane left a trail of destruction throughout south Louisiana, especially in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.

So far, Laura has been blamed for 12 deaths in Louisiana and four in Texas.  Most of the Louisiana fatalities resulted from carbon dioxide poisoning caused by generators.

More than 355,000 Louisiana homes and businesses remained without electricity on Sunday morning, as did 120,000 in Texas and Arkansas. According to the various utility companies responsible for maintaining the region’s power grid, electricity won’t be fully restored for weeks.

Schools in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes will remain closed for the time being.

Hurricane Laura Insurance Losses Could Hit $9 Billion

Although the storm surge wasn’t as severe as expected, Laura’s 150 mph sustained winds caused extensive damage throughout south Louisiana.

“Residential buildings in and around Lake Charles saw significant damage to roofs,” Cagdas Kafali, senior vice president of research at AIR Worldwide, said in a statement released to Bloomberg News. “Residential building envelopes were breached due to debris impacts, and the damage was further exacerbated in many cases due to the impacts of storm surge.”

The risk modeling firm predicted that insurance losses associated with Hurricane Laura would likely fall in the $4 billion to $8 billion range. However, Karen Clark & Co. estimates total losses closer to $9 billion in the United States and the Caribbean.

Thousands Evacuated to New Orleans and Baton Rouge

“Our roof was down the street on somebody else’s house,” one Lake Charles resident told the Times-Picayune. “We had to barricade ourselves in with dresser drawers against the wind, and there were bricks and glass flying everywhere through the house.”

The family, including eight children, spent two nights sleeping in an SUV outside of their damaged home before heading to a shelter in New Orleans.

Over 500,000 people living along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm. But according to The Weather Channel, an additional 6,000 Louisianans sought shelter in the Big Easy on Sunday after the first wave of new evacuees were directed to Baton Rouge.

The National Guard was handing out food, water, ice, and tarps in hard-hit communities on Sunday, and the Red Cross was supplying residents and businesses with cots, mops, brooms, buckets, masks, snacks, bottled water, and other supplies.

Chlorine Leak Triggers Biolab Chemical Plant Fire Near Lake Charles

Damage from Hurricane Laura also caused a chlorine leak that triggered a massive fire at KIK Custom Products’ Biolab chemical plant near Lake Charles on Thursday. The blaze sent an enormous plume of smoke across the area, forcing the closure of a major highway that links Louisiana with Texas and Mississippi.

While the Biolab facility had been evacuated ahead of the storm and no one was hurt, a shelter-in-place order was in effect for Westlake, Moss Bluff, and Sulphur, Louisiana, until the fire was brought under control on Friday afternoon.

Residents of 5 Louisiana Parishes Can Register for Disaster Aid

On Saturday, President Trump approved Louisiana’s request for a major disaster declaration. Residents of the five most affected parishes — Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis — can now register for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“For the people in other parishes that were impacted, but not yet approved for aid, please know that we will continue damage assessments and do expect additional parishes to be authorized,” Governor John Bel Edwards said in a statement. “We will fight for all Louisianans who were in Laura’s path to get the assistance they need to recover and rebuild.”

Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult with Our Undefeated Hurricane Damage Lawyers

With losses from Hurricane Laura expected to reach as high as $9 billion, insurance companies will use any excuse to avoid paying policyholders what they truly deserve.

If you suspect your insurance carrier wrongly denied, delayed, or low-balled your Hurricane Laura wind or flood claim, our Experienced Hurricane Damage Lawyers will protect your rights and ensure you and your family are made whole.

Call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us a confidential email through our contact form.

All consultations are free, and since we work exclusively on a contingency fee basis, you won’t pay us a cent unless we recover damages from your insurer.