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Delta Leaves Hundreds of Thousands Without Power; Storm Weary Residents Assess Damage

By Ron Brackett and Jan Wesner Childs

October 11, 2020

At a Glance

  • More than 600,000 homes and businesses remained without power late Saturday afternoon.
  • Many areas flooded as Delta dropped more than a foot of rain in places.
  • Storm surge inundated coastal areas.
  • High winds ripped tarps off homes damaged in Hurricane Laura six weeks ago.
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This article is no longer being updated. For the latest on the impacts from Delta, click here.

Hundreds of thousands of people were still without power, dozens of roads remained closed in Lake Charles and other areas and residents across the region were cleaning up damage Saturday as the remnants of Hurricane Delta continued to push inland across the South.

Louisiana took the brunt of hurricane damage for a second time this year, after being pummeled by Hurricane Laura about six weeks ago. More than 9,400 people were being sheltered by the state Saturday, The Associated Press reported, citing Gov. John Bel Edwards. Nearly all of them were Laura evacuees.

The governor said 3,000 National Guard troops were mobilized after Delta and 10,000 utility workers were fanned out across the region.

Weary residents began to return home and assess the damage in Lake Charles, where Patrick King waded thorugh knee-deep water to get his home after spending Friday night in Beaumont, Texas.

“I was hoping and praying that it didn’t get into the house, but it did. It rose up close to the furniture,” King told the AP.

(MORE: Delta to Bring Heavy Rainfall, Gusty Winds and Isolated Tornadoes to the South)

In the nearby community of Iowa, Brian Schexnayder’s home was badly damaged by Laura. Friday night, Hurricane Delta brought more misery.

“In the first five minutes, it blew the tarp off,” Schexnayder, 62, told nola.com.

Rain came down into every room.

Delta dumped record amounts of rain in some parts of Louisiana, causing flash flooding that stranded cars, made roads impassable and sent water into homes. More than a foot of rain fell in parts of Lake Charles.

"I'll take all the thoughts and prayers I can get right now," Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter told CNN.

About 7,000 residents of Lake Charles had not been able to return to their homes since they were damaged by Hurricane Laura six weeks ago, Hunter said. Across the city, Hurricane Delta on Friday ripped tarps off the damaged buildings as if they were bright blue Band-Aids.

More than 497,000 customers were without power in Louisiana as of about 4 p.m. CDT Saturday, according to poweroutage.us. Another 87,000 outages were being reported in Texas, and Mississippi had more than 39,000. Thousands in Arkansas and Alabama also had no electricity. At one point Saturday morning, more than 800,000 homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast were without power.

(MORE: Louisiana Just Spent Weeks Restoring Power After Hurricane Laura. Now, After Hurricane Delta, They're Starting Over.)

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Officials in Mississippi's Franklin County told the Clarion-Ledger a possible tornado snapped trees in the southeastern area of the county on Friday night.

Six to eight trees fell on homes in Natchez, Mississippi, the Clarion-Ledger reported, and hundreds more fell in surrounding Adams County. Trees also fell in Warren and Washington counties.

Natchez resident Bryane Ford told WJTV he woke up Friday night when a tree fell on his apartment.

“I just got off the bed, tried to get out the door couldn’t get out the door. The fire department came and moved some of that stuff out and after they did I was able to get out,” Ford said.

A possible tornado was also spotted south of Mobile, Alabama, about 5 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

The AP reported that the storm also blew down two homes under construction in Galveston, Texas.

Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana, as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph about 14 miles east of where Hurricane Laura came ashore in Cameron, Louisiana, in August.

More From Louisiana

Gov. John Bel Edwards said no deaths have been reported from Hurricane Delta in Louisiana.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said about 9 a.m. it was safe for residents to return home, though it cautioned that many roads remained impassable and electricity had not been restored. A Facebook post listed dozens of roads that had standing water or downed trees blocking them.

In his own Facebook post, Lake Charles Mayor Hunter said, "Today is not the day to come back to LC, if you can avoid it."

Westbound Interstate 10 was closed in Lake Charles after three tractor-trailers and an RV overturned on the Calcasieu River Bridge. The state Transportation Department said the interstate would be closed until further notice.

Standing water closed Louisiana State Highway 1 in Lafourche Parish south of the Leon Theriot Lock in Golden Meadow to Leeville, the Sheriff's Office reported.

More than 15 roads had downed trees or power lines or standing water in Iberia Parish, according to the sheriff's office.

Other parishes reporting road closures included St. Martin, St. Landry, Lafayette, Vermillion, Evangeline and Acadia, according to the state Transportation Department.

Drone video from Cypremort Point, which extends into Vermillion Bay, showed a concrete-block wall ripped from a boat storage warehouse. Roofs were ripped off and docks were destroyed or damaged. Several large boats were washed up onshore.

The aftermath of Hurricane Delta is seen Saturday Oct. 10, 2020, near Jennings, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
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The aftermath of Hurricane Delta is seen Saturday Oct. 10, 2020, near Jennings, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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