Hurricane Delta inflicts further damage on storm-tired Louisiana

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LAKE CHARLES, LA. – By tearing tarps from already damaged roofs and scattering piled debris along roadsides, Hurricane Delta inflicted yet another round of destruction on Louisiana as it struck communities still reeling from the hurricane Laura had taken a similar path six weeks earlier. When Delta arrived ashore as a Category 2 hurricane on Friday, nearly every home and building in Lake Charles still had chipped roofs and other damage from Laura. Piles of moldy mattresses, sawn trees and other debris still lined the streets.

Mayor Nic Hunter said tarps were flying out of homes across town.

“I’m in a building right now with a tarp on it and just the sound of the tarp beating on the building sounds like someone hammering a hammer on top of the building,” Hunter said as he exited the building. storm in downtown. “It’s pretty intense. ”

Delta crashed ashore on Friday night near the coastal town of Creole – only about 15 miles from where Laura crashed into land in August, killing 27 people in Louisiana.

In Lake Charles, about 50 kilometers inland from where Delta came ashore, water seeped through the ceiling of Ernest Jack’s bedroom as he tried to sleep on Friday night . Jack said the tarp covering her roof since Laura damaged her house had not exploded. Its windows were covered to protect themselves from flying debris.

” It’s raining very hard; there are floods; the wind is strong, ”Jack said Friday night. ” I’m fine. I don’t worry about anything, I just pray that everything is going well. ”

Delta hit with winds of 100 mph (155 km / h) but quickly weakened. Within two hours of making landfall, it had fallen to a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph (140 km / h). Still, forecasters have warned of a potentially fatal storm surge that could reach up to 3.4 meters (11 feet). Flash flood warnings have been posted for much of southwestern Louisiana and parts of neighboring Texas.

In the town of Lake Arthur, Delta winds peeled the shingles off the roof of the L’Banca Albergo Hotel, an eight-room boutique hotel in what was once a bank.

“I probably don’t have any more shingles on top of this hotel,” owner Roberta Palermo said as the winds blew outside.

Palermo said the power was off and she could see pieces of metal coming out of the roof of a 100-year-old building across the street. Unsecured garbage cans were flying through the streets.

“There are a lot of power lines everywhere, there is… very deep water in some places,” said hotel guest Johnny Weaver. He had been out on time with his friends earlier and the friend’s car was stuck in the water.

Delta’s reach extended as far west as Galveston, Texas, about 100 miles from where the storm hit Louisiana. Two houses under construction were blown over by the winds, as were a few trees and signs in the area. Beach dunes flattened by previous storms allowed a storm surge to reach under some of Galveston’s raised beach houses.

Power outages in Louisiana and neighboring Texas surpassed 410,000 homes and businesses on Friday hours after the storm landed ashore, according to the PowerOutage.us tracking website.

Delta, the 25th named storm in an unprecedented hurricane season in the Atlantic, made the record books when it struck the Gulf Coast. It was the first named hurricane in the Greek alphabet to hit the continental U.S. It became the 10th named storm to hit the American continent this year, breaking a century-old record set in 1916, according to Phil Klotzbach, researcher at Colorado State University.

Forecasters predicted that Delta would be downgraded to a tropical storm overnight. The storm’s projected track showed it was moving into northern Mississippi on Saturday and then into the Tennessee Valley as a tropical depression.

Delta was the fourth named storm to hit Louisiana in 2020. Tropical Storm Marco collapsed when it hit the southeastern tip of Louisiana just three days before Laura hit. And Tropical Storm Cristobal caused damage in southeast Louisiana in June.

Some who left Laura chose to curl up with Delta. In Lafayette, about 120 kilometers east of Lake Charles, Jeanne-Marie Gove could hear debris hitting the front door of her apartment Friday night and her patio door opening and closing.

“The wind is much worse than what Hurricane Laura brought,” Gove said in a Twitter post.

The roof of a trailer in the mobile home park behind his apartment was ripped off and thrown onto the sidewalk.

“The gusts of wind cause the glass in our windows to tilt inward,” Gove added. “It’s pretty scary. ”

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Plaisance reported from New Iberia, Louisiana. Associated Press contributors include Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Gerald Herbert in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Kevin McGill in New Orleans; Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland; Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia; Leah Willingham in Jackson, Mississippi; and Sophia Tulp in Atlanta.

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