Delta just adds in­sult to in­jury in hur­ri­cane-rav­aged Louisiana

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - NATION - BY RE­BECCA SANTANA, STACEY PLAISANCE AND ALANNA DURKIN RICHER As­so­ci­ated Press

LAKE CHARLES, LA.

The day af­ter Hur­ri­cane Delta blew through be­sieged south­ern Louisiana, res­i­dents started the rou­tine again: dodg­ing over­turned cars on the roads, trudg­ing through knee-deep wa­ter to flooded homes with ru­ined floors and no power, and pledg­ing to re­build af­ter the storm.

Delta made land­fall Fri­day evening near the coastal Louisiana town of Cre­ole with top winds of 100 mph. It then moved over Lake Charles, a city where Hur­ri­cane Laura dam­aged nearly every home and build­ing in late Au­gust. No deaths had been re­ported as of Satur­day af­ter­noon, but of­fi­cials said peo­ple were not out of dan­ger.

While Delta was a weaker storm than Cat­e­gory 4 Laura, it brought sig­nif­i­cantly more flood­ing, Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said. He es­ti­mated that hun­dreds of al­ready bat­tered homes across the city took on wa­ter. The re­cov­ery from the dou­ble im­pact will be long, the mayor said.

“Add Laura and Delta to­gether and it’s just ab­so­lutely un­prece­dented and cat­a­strophic,” Hunter said.

“We are very con­cerned that with ev­ery­thing go­ing in the coun­try right now that this in­ci­dent may not be on the radar na­tion­ally like it should be.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Ed­wards said no fa­tal­i­ties had been re­ported as of Satur­day, but a hur­ri­cane’s wake can be treach­er­ous. Only seven of the 32 deaths in Louisiana and Texas at­trib­uted to Laura came the day that hur­ri­cane struck. A lead­ing cause of the oth­ers was car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing from gen­er­a­tors used in build­ings without elec­tric­ity.

“Ev­ery­body needs to ex­er­cise a lot of cau­tion even now, and re­ally, es­pe­cially now,” Ed­wards said.

Delta, the 25th named storm of an un­prece­dented At­lantic hur­ri­cane sea­son, was the 10th named storm to hit the main­land U.S. this year, break­ing a record set in 1916, Colorado State Uni­ver­sity re­searcher Phil Klotzbach said.

It rapidly weak­ened over land and slowed into a trop­i­cal de­pres­sion Satur­day morn­ing. Fore­cast­ers warned that heavy rain, storm surges and flash floods con­tin­ued to pose dan­gers in ar­eas from Texas to Mis­sis­sippi. Large swells and rip cur­rents closed beaches down to the Mex­i­can bor­der.

Delta in­flicted most of its dam­age with rain in­stead wind. It dumped more than 15 inches of rain on Lake Charles over two days and more than 10 inches on Ba­ton Rouge. South­west par­ishes such as Cameron, Jef­fer­son Davis, Ver­mil­ion and Aca­dia that sus­tained heavy blows from Laura took the hard­est hit.

Ed­wards said 3,000 Louisiana Na­tional Guard soldiers were mo­bi­lized to clear roads and to dis­trib­ute meals and tarps, and

10,000 util­ity work­ers were work­ing to get power re­stored to nearly 600,000 cus­tomers.

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