When it comes to hurricanes, we're told to run from the water and hide from the wind. This is because coastal areas are more likely to flood and be affected by extreme wind. But in 2020, Alexandria, a city over 100 miles from the coast, took on damaging wind from one hurricane and flooding rains from another.
Alexandria mayor, Jeff Hall says, "We normally don't get a hurricane with this kind of wind gust velocity this far north. But we have to prepare, and we always do prepare as if we will."
He says the city has been preparing for hurricanes for years, but last year's season has them rethinking plans, especially post-storm.
Hall adds, "We do prepare and we've taken proactive steps since then to be better prepared. There are probably going to be many more storms, and they're going to be more powerful and making their way farther north more so than traditionally."
He's also saying Alexandria can still be an evacuation area. Even with the strong winds, they were able to bounce back fairly quickly with basic services.
Hall says, "We had 100% loss of power from our power sources and from our own generator power capabilities. But before the end of the day we had 20-30% of the customers restored. And by the next day we had 75-80% of the power restored."
Some workers at CLECO said the damage they saw in central Louisiana was the worst they've seen since 2005. As we face another hurricane season, there are still people who need help. And it's not just from the hurricanes.
"Contractor wise, people are beginning to get contractors. As you know roofing was tough because a lot of the work went south. It's combined, it's not just Laura and Delta, but certainly COVID 19 as well as the double hit ice storms in February." says Hall.
Although we all want the recover help from the state and federal government to move faster, the mayor says everyone did their best. "There's no real complaints from us as to what's taken place because most of us are seeing something that's never happened before."