Hurricane Delta Inflicts New Damage On Storm-Weary Louisiana
Delta ripped tarps off damaged roofs and scattered massive piles of storm debris in the wind and water. In Lake Charles, Louisiana, Mayor Nic Hunter says his city will be in recovery mode for months and probably years.
Delta is now a tropical storm moving across the U.S. South after striking Louisiana as a major hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center said Delta blew ashore Friday evening as a Category 2 only a few miles from where Hurricane Laura struck land just six weeks earlier.
Delta ripped tarps off damaged roofs and scattered massive piles of storm debris in the wind and water.
Hundreds of thousands are without power as the storm moves north and east, into Mississippi and the Tennessee Valley.
In Lake Charles, Louisiana, Mayor Nic Hunter says his city will be in recovery mode for months and probably years.
The mayor of Lake Charles in southwest Louisiana says tarps that were put up to protect buildings damaged six weeks ago by Hurricane Laura flew off in Hurricane Delta's strong winds.
Mayor Nic Hunter told The Associated Press tarps were being ripped away from rooftops. He was hunkered down in a secure location in downtown Lake Charles.
“Tarps are being blown off all throughout the city,” Hunter said by phone after Delta made landfall Friday evening as a Category 2 hurricane.
He added: “I’m in a building right now with a tarp on it and just the sound of the tarp flapping on the building sounds like someone pounding with a sledge hammer on top of the building. It's pretty intense."
He said piles of unsecured debris from Laura are also being tossed about in Delta's high winds. He said some of the debris was moving into the streets and floating in water.
Wind and rain from Delta also pummeled the Louisiana city of Lafayette, further east from where the hurricane came ashore, and one apartment owner described it as “pretty scary."
Jeanne-Marie Gove could hear debris hitting her front door and her patio gate banging open and shut. She lives in an apartment in Lafayette, about 75 miles east of Lake Charles closer to the hurricane's center.
“The wind is much worse than what Hurricane Laura brought,” Gove said in a message on Twitter, referring to the storm that battered southwest Louisiana six weeks ago. The roof from a trailer at the mobile home park behind Gove's apartment was torn off and tossed down the sidewalk. Power was out for many residents.
The winds were so strong they pulled away shingles from L'Banca Albergo Hotel, an eight-room boutique hotel in the Louisiana town of Lake Arthur.
“I probably don’t have a shingle left on the top of this hotel,” said owner Roberta Palermo. She said the electricity was out and, across the street, she could see pieces of metal coming off the roof of a 100-year-old building. Unsecured trash cans were flying around on the streets.
Palermo is a long-time Louisiana resident who has grown up with hurricanes. “It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden one out. I don’t think I’ve ever been in one like this,” she said. “I think my building is pretty safe but it’s intense, for sure.”
One of her guests was Johnny Weaver, a meteorology student from San Francisco State University. He was living at home in Tampa while studying online and decided to travel to the region to see and study the storm firsthand.
“There is a lot of power lines down all over the place, there’s ... really deep water in certain spots,” he said from the hotel’s front porch, adding, ‘’there is just shingles flying everywhere."
Delta cut through parts of Louisiana’s Acadiana region — a unique part of the state named after the French emigrants kicked out of Nova Scotia hundreds of years ago who eventually settled in south Louisiana.
It’s a region where food — even in a hurricane — is important.
That was evident when reporter Gerald Gruenig with KLFY television was out reporting on the storm Friday night. Gruenig hosts a weekly segment called Acadiana Eats. He was interviewing a man driving in the town of Abbeville about the weather when conversation turned to food.
“Ya’ll cooking tonight?” Gruenig asked.
“I got some fresh rabbit,” the man answered before driving away with Gruenig calling after him to be careful.
“That’s what a hurricane smells like, roux baby,” Gruenig said, referring to the savory fat-and-flour sauce popular in the region.
The storm’s effects were felt as far west as Galveston, Texas, where winds gusts toppled two houses under construction.
Galvestan is about 100 miles from where Delta made landfall on the southwest Louisiana coast Friday evening.
A spokeswoman for Sullivan Brothers Builders told The (Galveston) Daily News that the houses were in their early framing stages and still lacked windstorm construction reinforcements. Elizabeth Rogers-Alvarado said there were no injuries.
Trees and signs were toppled around the region.
And beach dunes flattened by Hurricane Laura in August and Tropical Storm Beta last month allowed storm surge to reach beneath the raised beach houses in Galveston’s West End. Thousands of customers lost electric power.
Large swells and rip currents prompted officials to close some Texas beaches as far west as Corpus Christi and the mouth of the Rio Grande. Padre Island beaches remained open.