Lake Charles mayor weighs hard realities of hurricane recovery with hope

LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana (KTRK) -- Just 18 hours after the monstrous Hurricane Laura tore across the southwest Louisiana landscape, the leader of the hardest hit city sent a message to his citizens: Be prepared for a long haul but be hopeful about the future.

Mayor Nic Hunter posted to Facebook Thursday that the past week felt like something out of a bad science fiction novel. He also reminded people about the lack of basic resources as they return.

"There is barely a trickle of water coming out of most faucets in the homes of Lake Charles," Hunter posted. "We are working as quickly as possible to remedy this."

Electrical utilities are also non-existent after major substations were destroyed by Laura's winds. There's no estimated time of restoration for utilities for the region.

"Make sure you understand the above reality and are preparerd to live in it for many days, possibly weeks," Hunter wrote. "'Look and Leave' truly is the best option for many."

Hunter is three years into his first term as mayor of the city of 78,000.

Hunter went on to commend city staff for their efforts after the storm and closed with a message that reflected on past disasters that have rocked the area, including Hurricane Rita in 2005.

"We've done this before and we'll do it again. We'll do it because it's in our DNA as Lake Charles."

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