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Damage in Lake Charles after Hurricane Laura

Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 19:17:44-04

KATC's Chris Welty has been in Lake Charles this week covering the onset and aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

Chris returned on Thursday to the home of a family he met on Wednesday while covering the storm. They weren't home, but damage could be seen at their home.

Also in Lake Charles near the I-10 bridge, a chemical fire is burning that started to pick up again around 5 p.m. Earlier on Thursday, large plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the BioLab Chemical Manufacturing Facility in Westlake. Officials say chlorine was also leaking from the plant.

The I-10 bridge going into Westlake remains closed; police are diverting traffic back into Lake Charles.

The Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino broke loose from the dock earlier on Thursday and was wedged underneath the I-10 bridge. It has since been put back into place.

Streets in Lake Charles also saw flooding as Laura passed through the area, causing damage to roofs and awnings.

Along the beachfront, water has receded. Earlier in the day, water from Lake Charles could be seen along picnic tables on the shore. Now, more damage can be seen - large interstate signs were torn away and metal from the signs could be seen lying along the beachfront.

Another stark reminder of the damage wrought by Hurricane Laura in the city came in the most innocent of ways - a Dollar Tree and a Market Basket store completely destroyed by the storm. Among the rubble, feather boas, bottled water, and Halloween decorations could be seen, illustrating the stores' preparations for the holiday and the hurricane. Residents say the stores have been looted because the front windows have been completely blown open and the merchandise inside is in the open, as the stores' owners haven't had the chance to secure the businesses.

Fuel trucks were beginning to arrive in the city as well, as all gas stations are closed.

Click here for incredible drone footage from ABC News of the damage Hurricane Laura caused to Lake Charles.

READ MORE on Chris' coverage in Lake Charles:

Lake Charles begins to see the effects of Hurricane Laura

TV tower falls in Lake Charles during Laura, crushes nearby buildings

Chlorine leaking after fire at Westlake chemical plant in wake of Hurricane Laura

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