JENNINGS, La. — After surveying the damage from Hurricane Delta, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he knows how hard Southwest Louisiana has been hit.
"We're going to work as hard as we can, as fast as we can, to get everybody's lives right side up again. As if Laura wasn't bad enough, now we had Delta," Edwards said.
Edwards said it was "heartbreaking" to see work that had been done on Laura damage reversed or even worsened by Delta. Edwards said Delta even halted the planned return of many residents who have been living in hotels since Laura. Some were about to come home, but had to put that off because of Delta.
One bright spot: No fatalities have been reported, he said. But most of the deaths attributed to Laura were from improperly used generators, heat stroke and injuries sustained during clean-up. Edwards urged everyone to be very careful.
Edwards said he's constantly amazed by the resiliency of Louisiana people. He said there are many people hurting, and promised hard work from the state and the federal government to help.
He said the National Guard is helping with search and rescue, and providing MREs and water and other assistance.
Edwards said many people already suffering damage from Laura got damage again yesterday from Delta. He wanted to be sure those people understand what Louisiana's insurance laws say.
"In Louisiana, insurance companies are only allowed to charge one hurricane deductible per calendar year. You only have to pay one per year, no matter how many hurricanes damage your home," Edwards said.
Edwards said officials are asking people to stay home: don't get out and sightsee, he said.
At the peak of outages for Delta, there were more than 600,000 outages in almost every parish, he said. That's 74,000 more than Laura. The number is down to about 500,000 and damage assessments indicate there isn't the catastrophic damage to transmission lines, he said. He predicted power will be restored quickly, but he said the average length of outages for a Category 2 hurricane is 10 days.
This morning there were 10,000 people in shelters; about 6,000 of them have been in hotels since Laura. About 2,000 are in Texas hotels. The remainder are sheltering because of Delta.
Edwards said Louisiana officials are talking to federal officials to get assistance, including DSNAP. You can preregister by texting LaDSNAP 898211. You will still have to apply if the aid is approved.