Gas station awning falls on home in Lake Charles during Hurricane Laura

Jessica Willey Image
Friday, August 28, 2020
Gas station awning falls on home in Lake Charles during Laura
The man said he didn't realize how bad the damage was until he went inside of his home and found it covered in water.

LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana (KTRK) -- For one Louisiana family, Hurricane Laura was like déja vu.

"We were here for Rita. We actually had a little house right here and the same thing happened," said Mike Rush just hours after he and his family returned home to Westlake, a small suburb in Lake Charles.

The family evacuated to Houston late Wednesday.

Hurricane Laura's winds hit southwest Louisiana, leaving widespread damage across much of the city.

"We didn't know it was that bad until we went inside. When we came home, there was water still coming out of the house," Rush explained.

This will be the second time in 15 years it has happened. During Hurricane Rita, the house he shared with his wife and son was on the lot next door. The gas station awning was from the neighboring corner store.

The family said they will stay in a hotel on Thursday night until their home dries out.

"I'm headed to Dallas to get my brother's RV, and we'll put it in here like we did last time. We will live in it until we get it fixed," Rush said.

Laura came ashore early Thursday morning. Wind speeds were as high as 132 mph in Lake Charles.

Daylight revealed downed power lines and countless trees in the more rural parts of the area. Officials said power could be out for many residents for weeks.

The Louisiana National Guard is currently on patrol to prevent looting at businesses and homes that were left exposed by the storm.

"We'll get back on our feet," resident Bryan Culpepper said. "We always do."

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