In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter is rallying for support for his city and all of Southwest Louisiana.
"We're still in the middle of a battle and we're going to be in the middle of a battle for weeks and months. This was a major event and this was the strongest hurricane to hit the state of Louisiana in 150 years," Hunter said.
Since Laura hit nearly two weeks ago, we're seeing small signs of progress and relief in areas devastated by the category four storm.
"Where we are in the recovery right now I believe is miraculous," Hunter said.
Each day the city is seeing progress in cleanup efforts and other small victories.
"We have water to the majority of households in Lake Charles, but there is still a boil advisory," Hunter said. "Citizens have water and our electric utility company Entergy has moved mountains. We're seeing pockets of electricity pop up around Lake Charles."
Sanitation crews are also running their regular routes.
Though these necessities are a welcomed sight, the community is still a long way from being whole. Many families and businesses are sill devastated by Laura's impacts.
"When you look at Lake Charles, it doesn't look like a hurricane hit, it looks like a tornado went up and down every street," said Hunter. "The road to recovery is going to be a long road."
Hunter says there will be housing issues. He believes FEMA trailers will have to be one part of the solution.
"We want displaced Lake Charles citizens to return home. They're what makes Lake Charles great and we want our people home," Hunter said.
Over the past two weeks, the area has been inundated with donations of food, water and personal hygiene products. Hunter says the area is thankful for the support they've received, but he does have a concern.
"I'm just asking Americans, the average everyday American to not forget about us. Don't forget about Lake Charles. Yes, we will help each other, but we need our American brothers and sisters to help us right now," Hunter said.
Lake Charles and the surrounding communities also need manpower to work chainsaws, cleanup yards and houses.
Hunter suggests signing up with Samaritan's Purse if you're interested in volunteering in Lake Charles.
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