NATIONAL NEWS

Hurricane Delta Inflicts New Misery On Storm-Weary Louisiana

Oct 9, 2020, 8:00 PM
CAMERON, LA - OCTOBER 09: Utility poles damaged by Hurricane Laura are seen as Hurricane Delta appr...
CAMERON, LA - OCTOBER 09: Utility poles damaged by Hurricane Laura are seen as Hurricane Delta approaches on October 9, 2020 in Cameron, Louisiana. Hurricane Delta makes its way toward Louisiana, threatening to bring powerful winds and storm surge to an area of the coast area sill recovering from Hurricane Laura. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Hurricane Delta crashed onshore Friday in southwestern Louisiana as a Category 2 storm, ripping tarps from already damaged roofs and slinging debris piled by roads along a path of destruction inflicted by Hurricane Laura only six weeks earlier.

The center of the hurricane made landfall about 6 p.m. near the town of Creole — a distance of only about 15 miles from where Laura struck in August.

Delta hit with top winds of 100 mph but rapidly grew weaker. Within an hour hitting land, the National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds.

Still, forecasters warned Delta was pounding the coast with life-threatening storm surge that could reach up to 11 feet. Flash flood warnings were posted for much of southwest Louisiana and parts of neighboring Texas.

In the city of Lake Charles, about 30 miles inland from where Delta made landfall, winds at tarp-covered roofs of buildings that Hurricane Laura battered when it barreled through in late August and killed at least 27 people in the state.

Ernest Jack lay in bed trying to sleep as water leaked through the ceiling of his Lake Charles home while Delta marched inland Friday night. He said the tarp he’d used to cover his damaged roof after Laura hadn’t blown off and his windows were covered to protect against flying debris.

“It’s raining real hard; it’s flooding; the wind is strong,” Jack said. “I’m OK. I’m not worried about nothing, just praying that everything goes well.”

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said the latest storm was tearing tarps off homes across the city — where he estimated 95% buildings suffered damage from Laura. Piles of moldy mattresses, sawed-up trees and other leftover debris lined the city’s largely vacant streets when Delta arrived. Hunter said some of that debris was being blown around and floating in streets.

“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 sledgehammer on top of the building,“ Hunter said. ”It’s pretty intense.”

In the town of Lake Arthur, the wind was so strong it was pulling shingles off L’Banca Albergo Hotel, an eight-room boutique hotel in what used to be a bank.

“I probably don’t have a shingle left on the top of this hotel,” said owner Roberta Palermo, as the winds gusted outside.

Palmero 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 the streets.

One of her guests was Johnny Weaver, a meteorology student who traveled to Louisiana from Tampa to study the storm.

“There is a lot of power lines down all over the place, there’s … really deep water in certain spots,” Weaver said, speaking from the hotel’s front porch. He had been out in the weather with his friends earlier and the friend’s car was stranded in the water.

Delta’s damaging effects were felt as far west as Galveston, Texas, about 100 miles from where the storm struck Louisiana. Two homes under construction in Galveston were toppled by winds, as were some trees and signs in the area. Beach dunes flattened by earlier storms allowed storm surge to reach beneath some of Galveston’s raised beach houses.

Schools and colleges canceled classes Friday in the coastal Texas counties east of Galveston Bay. Wind gusts approaching 90 mph (145 kph) were recorded at Jack Brooks Regional Airport near Beaumont, about 55 miles west of landfall.

Power outages in Louisiana and neighboring Texas soared past 330,000 homes and businesses Friday shortly after the storm came ashore, according to the tracking website PowerOutage.us.

Delta was the 25th named storm of an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season and became the first Greek-alphabet-named hurricane to hit the continental U.S. As the 10th named storm to hit the continental U.S. this year, it also snapped a century-old record set in 1916, according to Colorado State University researcher Phil Klotzbach.

As the fourth hurricane or tropical storm to hit Louisiana in a year, Delta also tied a 2002 record, Klotzbach said.

Delta, the latest in a recent flurry of rapidly intensifying Atlantic hurricanes that scientists largely blame on global warming, appeared destined to set records at landfall.

Concern wasn’t limited to the Lake Charles and Cameron Parish areas, where Laura came ashore in late August. Further east, in Acadiana region towns like New Iberia and Abbeville, people took the storm seriously.

“You can always get another house, another car, but not another life,” said Hilton Stroder as he and his wife, Terry, boarded up their Abbeville home Thursday night with plans to head to their son’s house further east.

This week marked the sixth time of the current season that Louisiana has been threatened by tropical storms or hurricanes. One, Tropical Storm Marco, fizzled as it hit the southeast Louisiana tip, and others veered elsewhere, but Tropical Storm Cristobal caused damage in southeast Louisiana in June.

The hurricane was expected to weaken rapidly over land. Forecasters predicted Delta would be downgraded to a tropical storm overnight. The storm’s projected path showed it moving into northern Mississippi on Saturday and then into the Tennessee Valley as a tropical depression.

__

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; and Leah Willingham in Jackson, Mississippi.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found ...
Elizabeth Wolfe and Mallika Kallingal, CNN

Moscow police say a sixth person on the lease isn’t involved in the Idaho student killings

The Moscow Police Department said on Friday that they don't believe a sixth person listed on the lease at the residence, where four University of Idaho students were killed last month, was involved in their deaths.
1 day ago
FILE: This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Pre...
AMANDA SEITZ, Associated Press

US plans end to mpox public health emergency in January

The federal government plans to end in January the public health emergency it declared earlier this year after an outbreak of mpox left more than 29,000 people across the U.S. infected.
1 day ago
FILE - This undated artist rending provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a U.S. Air Force graphic of...
TARA COPP Associated Press

Pentagon debuts its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider

The United States' newest nuclear stealth bomber is making its public debut after years of secret development. The new bomber is part of the Pentagon's answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China.
1 day ago
FILE: LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03:  The Airbnb logo is displayed on a computer screen on August 3, ...
Shay O'Connor

Families of tourists found dead in Mexico Airbnb plan to file lawsuit

A news conference was held Thursday with the mothers who lost their children last month in Mexico to carbon monoxide poisoning at an Airbnb.
1 day ago
F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Department of Justice on ...
ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

FBI director raises national security concerns about TikTok

FBI Director Chris Wray is raising national security concerns about TikTok, warning Friday that control of the popular video sharing app is in the hands of a Chinese government “that doesn't share our values.”
1 day ago
Flyer for killings of University of Idaho students...
REBECCA BOONE Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Deaths of 4 Idaho students fuel online sleuths

The deaths of four University of Idaho students nearly three weeks ago has riled up thousands of would-be armchair sleuths, many of whom are posting speculation and unfounded rumors about the fatal stabbings online.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Hurricane Delta Inflicts New Misery On Storm-Weary Louisiana