BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With Hurricane Delta heading to the Lake Charles area, how do people still recovering from Hurricane Laura who are now in Baton Rouge feel?
As of Thursday morning (Oct. 8), there were about 250 Laura evacuees still in Baton Rouge and thousands in New Orleans. Many southwest Louisiana residents are in the path of a major hurricane once again.
I-10 in Lake Charles Thursday had bumper to bumper traffic, with most folks evacuating as Delta threatens southwest Louisiana.
“Very, very close to the exact location that Hurricane Laura made landfall just over a month ago,” said Governor John Bel Edwards in a press conference held Thursday afternoon.
Blue tarps are still on a majority of houses in Lake Charles, with many people’s roofs gone, and homes a total loss.
“There is the possibility for a large portion of southwest Louisiana to have extensive wind damage. With that, any debris left out will be more likelihood for missiles that could be thrown around with the wind,” said Benjamin Schott with NWS New Orleans.
“Rita was never the worst case scenario for us, that there could always be a storm in the future that could be worse and unfortunately Laura spelled that out for a lot of us, especially here in the heart of Lake Charles,” said Wade Hampton, KPLC chief meteorologist.
WAFB’s sister station in Lake Charles, KPLC, is bracing for yet another storm. As you may remember, Hurricane Laura badly damaged their tower, forcing them to broadcast from WAFB for weeks.
“This is not that normal scenario because of the debris that’s around. We have houses that are compromised and have damage, and living in one of those now with Delta coming in, unfortunately I think is not a good scenario,” said Hampton.
Meanwhile, utility crews and high water rescue vehicles are staged in parts of southwest and central Louisiana. FEMA vehicles could be seen outside the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) Thursday evening as well.
Baton Rouge area hotels could see an uptick in visitors from Delta as well.
“The hotels will see an influx not just of evacuees, but of course again, all the emergency personnel coming into the area, and once the storm has passed, it’s only going to continue to bring individuals into the area,” said Ben Blackwell, president of the Louisiana Hotel and Lodging Association.
“I’m encouraging everyone in the path of this storm to use the time you have available to put your family in the best possible position to ride out this storm,” said Gov. Edwards.
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