Miami, Oct 10 (efe-epa).- Louisiana communities still trying to recover from the damage done in August by Hurricane Laura found themselves Saturday dealing with the effects of Delta, which made landfall in the same corner of the Bayou State.
Delta came ashore Friday evening near the southwestern coastal town of Creole, a mere 24km (15mi) from where Laura struck.
And though Delta – a Category 2 – was less powerful, with maximum sustained winds of 155km/h (100mph) compared with 240km/h (150mph) for Category 4 Hurricane Laura, the latest storm brought wind and rain to a much larger area.
More than 710,000 residential and business customers in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi were without electricity Saturday, according to the website PowerOutage.us.
Authorities said they had no reports of deaths or injuries connected with Delta, which weakened to a tropical depression on Saturday.
The state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, urged Louisianans to continue taking precautions, recalling that all but one of the 27 deaths in the state blamed on Laura took place after the hurricane. Some people died of heat-related illness, others were poisoned by carbon monoxide fumes from generators and several fatalities came during clean-up and repair efforts.
“But as we know, just because the storm itself has passed and exited the state, that doesn’t mean the danger is over,” Edwards said Saturday in Baton Rouge, the state capital, before traveling to the coast to survey the damage.
“We already know that there will be damage in Southwest Louisiana that will be very difficult to differentiate between what was caused by Hurricane Laura and what was caused by Hurricane Delta. But what we know is that tens of thousands of Louisianans, as we speak, are in a very difficult situation and we are going to do everything we can, working with our federal and local partners, to make sure that their needs just as soon as we possibly can,” the governor said.
Roughly 10,000 residents of evacuation zones took refuge at shelters and hotels ahead of landfall
Because Louisiana has nearly 171,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and is experiencing an increase in hospitalizations, shelters were forced to significantly reduce their intake, but officials said that none of the shelters experienced any overcrowding.
After slamming into the coast, Delta followed the same path as Laura, inflicting more damage on the already battered city of Lake Charles.
The city’s mayor, Nic Hunter, told CNN Saturday that Delta’s winds blew tarps off buildings that lost their roofs to Laura, while debris remaining on the streets from the previous hurricane was caught up in the storm surge, which was measured at 2.44m (8ft) above ground level.
Delta was the fourth storm to strike Louisiana in 2020, following Tropical Storm Marco, Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Cristobal.
It is the 25th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which continues through Nov. 30, and 10th tropical system to affect the US this year, breaking a record set in 1916, according to researchers at Colorado State University. EFE