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Around Acadiana: How parishes are doing in Laura's aftermath

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 14:23:01-04

Our team reached out to Acadiana Offices of Emergency Preparedness or other officials to see how parishes in the area are doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson said his parish was blessed compared to neighboring parishes. The area saw damage to property, downed trees, and downed power lines. There was one fatality in Acadia between Eunice and Iota due to a tree falling on a home, but no other injuries. 85% of residents were without power immediately after Laura, but as of Saturday about 22% of the parish is without power (6,311 residents). Sheriff Gibson is asking Acadia Parish residents to pray for those who lost their lives, their homes, and their communities, and to be prepared as the height of hurricane season has just begun.

Acadia Parish OEP Director Ashley LeBlanc said the major damage was isolated to the west side of the parish, which was closer to the center of the storm. Most of the damage was caused by wind; the parish did not experience any major flooding. All parish residents that have damages should report them online HERE.

Calcasieu Parish saw major damage from Laura. Thomas Hoefer with the OEP says while the parish didn't see the storm surge it was expecting, the wind damage is devastating. He says every home and business in the parish is without power unless they have a generator, and it will take a "very long time" for utility companies to get infrastructure back up, estimating it could be several weeks before all power is restored and 7-10 days before restoration even begins.

Hoefer said most residents are without running water and adequate sewage, and "thousands and thousands" of trees are down on many homes and roadways. Crews are working on moving debris to the side of the parish's roads to allow for normal transportation.

There were six fatalities in Calcasieu Parish, all of them from generators and carbon monoxide poisoning. Fatalities include a family of five in north Lake Charles.

Many residents evacuated, and Hoefer said those who are wanting to return may do so, but must be self-sufficent because the parish does not have services available. Officials encourage residents to return, pick up essential items, and return to a safe location.

In Evangeline Parish, residents saw minimal damage and very little flooding. Power has been restored to 85-90% of the parish as of Friday afternoon, according to Sheriff Charles Guillory, and Cleco was hoping to have more restored by Friday night. Sheriff Guillory said most of the parish roads have been cleared, including LA 10 from Ville Platte to the parish line. Guillory said his parish was very blessed to not have sustained more damage or flooding.

Southern Iberia Parish did see flooding, including Delcambre, Lydia, Port of Iberia, Bayou Jack, and Weeks Island Road, according to the Sheriff's Office. Other damage included downed trees and power lines, and no serious damage was reported. The parish also saw no injuries.

Due to many areas still being without power Friday, the parish extended the curfew for Friday night.

Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Ivy Woods said most of the damage in the parish was to roofs, along with structural damage to some homes. Several power poles were knocked down and cable lines were down throughout the parish, and crews are working to mark where those have fallen so residents don't drive over them.

He says the biggest problem right now is roof damage and utilities being out for about 80% of the parish. There is no word on when power could be restored to residents.

Fortunately there were no injuries reported.

Sheriff Woods asks residents to not go out after dark, and wanted to remind residents that postal service will not be running in rural areas because a lot of mailboxes were blown down in the storm. If you are in a rural area of Jeff Davis Parish and are waiting on medication or any other important package, you should go to the post office location that serves your mailbox.

Craig Stansbury with the Lafayette Parish OEP reports that damage in the parish included several trees down in roadways and on some homes. There were no reported injuries due to Laura. LUS has restored power to almost all of its residents after around 15,000 were without power during the storm. As of Friday night, around 920 Slemco customers in the parish were still without power.

Anyone needing to report damage to a residence can do so by going online to lafayetteohsep.org or by calling 291-5060 during business hours.

The majority of the damage in St. Landry Parish was downed trees, according to OEP Director Van Reed, and most of those have already been cleared. Those still down require assistance from local electric companies. No injuries were reported in the parish, and all major roadways were open.

As of the last report, 5% of the parish was without power, less than 2,500 residents - down from 31% from Friday morning.

We are still waiting on responses from officials in Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Vermilion Parishes.

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