Laura leaves Louisiana leveled


Liberty Stuart, News writer

If you only had a short amount of time to decide what you wanted to keep and what would get destroyed from your house, what would you take? Many people faced this tough decision in Louisiana this year. On August 27, 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, LA as a category 4 hurricane reaching winds of 150 mph. Shortly after making landfall, Hurricane Laura weakened to a category 2 storm, but still reached winds of 110 mph.  

Most of the state experienced strong winds that caused trees and telephone poles to fall over, along with some roofs being torn apart. Cameron, LA, where Laura hit the hardest, is on the Southwest side of Louisiana near Texas. It experienced worse damage than any other impacted area, with entire buildings being destroyed by the storm.  

This being so, most of the deaths did not occur there. Four deaths were reported immediately after the storm on August 27. All four fatalities are north or northwest of where Laura hit.  

All were related to trees falling on residences, which is in line with this being a major wind event,” said Governor John Bel Edwards, governor of Louisiana. The following day, two more deaths were reported in Calcasieu Parish, LA, which is in the southwest of Louisiana, just above Cameron, LA. 

Along with buildings and trees being destroyed, power and flooding were also an issue. While flooding is always something to look out for during a hurricane, according to The Washington Post, “the storm brought little flooding and fewer rescue calls than feared.” 

On the other hand, no matter what type of natural disaster, power is always one of the first things affected. CNN also stated that 317,000 residents in Louisiana and 77,000 in Texas were without power as of August 27.  

Brianna Garcia, a resident of Columbia, LA, said, “We did lose electricity for several days. My mom and I went to visit family in Arkansas as we waited for the electricity to return.”  

Westlake, Louisiana experienced not only power outages, but a chemical fire as well. After Hurricane Laura passed through the city, it caused a biolab plant that was previously shut down due to caustic smoke to start a fire.  

“Isabelle Pierre, general counsel for KIK Custom Products, which owns Biolab, confirmed that the facility is the source of the fire. The facility manufactures trichloroisocyanuric acid, chlorinating granules and other specialty blends for products such as the household cleanser Comet and Clorox pool chlorine,” said The Washington Post. 

With the help of many organizations such as The Red Cross, Project HOPE, Save the Children, Global Giving and more, Louisiana is receiving relief. With the danger of the coronavirus pandemic also affecting people, volunteers are handing out masks along with all of the living necessities that are typically handed out during a hurricane.  

Garcia said, “It was a stressful time in the moment, but I am blessed to say that our home and we were safe and weren’t greatly affected during this tragic time.” Many families are starting to recover from the disaster, but it will still take time to get the state back to the way it was.