Hurricane Laura: 400,000 without electricity in Louisiana


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Media captionHurricane Laura left traces of destruction in Louisiana and Texas

Residents of coastal Louisiana in the United States face the prospect of weeks without electricity or water as the cleanup begins in the wake of the devastating impact of Hurricane Laura.

More than 400,000 people were without electricity on Saturday morning and 200,000 without water, officials said.

Governor John Bel Edwards said the devastation and damage spread to parts of northern Louisiana.

Fourteen people were killed by the storm – 10 in Louisiana, four in Texas.

In Haiti, which was hit hard by storms Marco and Laura, at least 31 people are believed to have died today.

President Donald Trump is visiting Louisiana and Texas on Saturday.

What’s the latest in the United States?

The White House has declared a major disaster in several parishes in Louisiana – meaning federal funds can be sent urgently to the hardest hit areas.

“Help can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover losses of uninsured property and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects. of the disaster, ”a White House statement said.

The governor of Louisiana called Laura “the strongest storm to hit Louisiana.” It was a category four hurricane when it hit.

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The damage is extensive and it will take time for communities to regain a sense of normalcy

“The devastation and damage stretches from southwest Louisiana to northern Louisiana, with more than half a million power outages, tens of thousands displaced from their homes and, unfortunately at least 10 lives lost, ”Governor Edwards said in a statement.

Of the 10 people who lost their lives in the state, five died from carbon monoxide poisoning from gas-powered back-up generators, four from fallen trees and one from drowning.

In Texas, a man was killed when a tree struck his home, and three people were killed in Port Arthur, possibly from carbon monoxide poisoning, officials reported.

Around 8,000 homes may have been destroyed in the two states, according to the Red Cross.

There was more structural damage from the winds than expected, but water damage was less than feared.

Some 1,500 people, including National Guard soldiers, are deployed on rescue and cleanup missions.

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Communities help each other – restaurant owners here serve free hot food

Lauren Sylvester, a resident of Lake Charles, Louisiana, followed evacuation orders.

On Friday, she returned home to see power lines and trees strewn in the streets.

“It’s still an incredible amount of damage,” she told the AP news agency.

Lawrence “Lee” Faulk had a similar experience – he found his home in Cameron Parish without a roof.

“We need help,” Faulk told CBS News. “We need ice, water, blue tarps – whatever you would associate with the storm, we need it. Like two hours ago. “

What other areas have suffered?

The death toll in Haiti has increased from 10 to 31 and eight people are missing, the country’s civil protection service said. Over 6,000 homes have been flooded across the country.

Four people are known to have died in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Cuba suffered damage but recorded no deaths.

In Jamaica, there were reports of landslides and flooded roads.

The US territory of Puerto Rico was also affected.


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