What SW Louisiana looks like 2 weeks after Hurricane Laura

Mycah Hatfield Image
Thursday, September 10, 2020
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Two weeks after Hurricane Laura ripped through southwest Louisiana, people are still trying to pick up the pieces.

LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana (KTRK) -- Two weeks after Hurricane Laura ravaged southwest Louisiana, there is still no end in sight on the road to recovery.

Entergy, the energy company that provides power to parts of Louisiana and Texas, reports more than 85,000 customers are still without power in the state.

More than 15,500 from Louisiana and 13,800 from the southwest have been working in the region since the storm hit. They have restored power to 179,000 of the 270,900 customers who were affected.

READ MORE: 5 family members survive Hurricane Laura but die in storm's aftermath

People who live in Cameron Parish estimate they will not have electricity for another six to eight weeks.

Many of them are driving hours every day to work on their homes.

Because of the pandemic, people who need shelter are being placed in hotels. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has 12,913 people being sheltered in the state. They are in 42 hotels in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport.

Meanwhile, The Red Cross is housing people in New Orleans.

READ MORE: How to help Hurricane Laura victims

The Texas Division of Emergency Management is housing 5,200 Louisiana residents in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.

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The wreckage left behind by Hurricane Laura is shocking, reducing homes to piles of lumber. One church looks more like a stable, with reeds and grasses covering the pews. (Mycah Hatfield)
Mycah Hatfield

The distance residents have to travel daily puts a strain on their recovery efforts.

George Heard, his wife and son estimate they spend about five hours driving every day to and from their home in Grand Chenier.

"We are tired," Heard said when asked about the long days. "We are sticky. We are extremely hungry and tired and it starts all over again at sunrise the next morning. By the time we get up, get dressed and get back down here, it's 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning and the heat is already turned back on."

Despite the challenges, residents of Cameron Parish are not complaining. They are grateful for the help they are receiving and the volunteers who provide them with meals that are ready to eat.

"They don't understand how much support they are giving to us," Heard said. "These people need to know that what they are doing is really appreciated."

READ ALSO: Pres. Trump surveys Hurricane Laura damage in post-convention trip

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