Back-to-back hurricanes over the space of six weeks left this corner of Louisiana covered in tarpaulins, shattered metal and downed power lines Sunday, but not necessarily in despair.
Utility crews fanned out across the southwest of the state to restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Delta, and residents began to return to their homes along debris-strewn roads and houses without roofs. Some were thankful that the damage was not as severe as it could have been.
Meanwhile, the remnants of the Delta dumped heavy rains in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported in its bulletin issued Sunday at 11 p.m. Central time, that the remnants of the post-tropical cyclone are weakening and already have maximum sustained winds of 15 miles per hour.
The system was 90 miles south of Knoxville, Tennessee and 60 miles north-northeast of Atlanta, Georgia, and was moving eastward at a travel speed of 15 miles per hour.
Forecasters warned that the remnants can cause rain, leaving 1 to 3 inches of rain in the northeast of the country and some flooding.
Moderate to severe flooding will continue through the Calcasieu and Mermentau river basins in Louisiana for much of the next week.
At Beaumont winds reached 100 miles near the coast and land within 25 miles, enough to knock down trees in the middle of streets, traffic signs and wooden fences.
Louisiana officials blamed the hurricane for the death of an 86-year-old man. The St. Martin parish resident died in a fire that broke out after he fueled a generator in a shed, Gov. John Bel Edwards said. It didn’t look like the man had allowed the generator to cool down before refilling it.
Also, a 19-year-old tourist from Illinois drowned after being caught in a storm surge in Destin, Florida, authorities said.
Approximately 350,000 customers in Louisiana were without power two days after Delta blew ashore near the city of Creole in 100 mph winds, hitting a part of the state that was still recovering from the attack of 150 mph Hurricane Laura on 27 of August. Laura was blamed for 32 deaths, many of them caused after the storm from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.
It happened in Louisiana.
The storm was also blamed for causing detours on a railroad track and causing a freight train to derail in the Atlanta area that sparked a small fire and briefly forced some residents to flee their homes. Two members of the crew were taken to a hospital for observation and later released.
Clair Hebert Marceaux lost her home in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, during Hurricane Laura and said the community was working hard to rebuild when Delta struck. “We cannot lose our momentum,” he said, although he added that there was “total devastation” in the area.
Delta made landfall on Friday night near the Louisiana coastal city of Creole with top winds of 100 mph. He then moved to Lake Charles, a city where Hurricane Laura damaged almost every home and building in late August.
Images of the damage caused by Hurricane Delta in Jefferson Davis Parish this Friday.
While Delta was a weaker storm than Laura, a Category 4 storm, it caused significantly more flooding, Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said. He calculated that hundreds of already destroyed houses throughout the city began to flood. The recovery from the double shock will be long, the mayor said.
“If we add Laura and Delta, it is absolutely catastrophic and unprecedented,” Hunter said. “We are very concerned that with everything going on in the country right now, this incident may not be on the national radar as it should be.”
Delta, the 25th named storm in an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season, was the 10th named storm to hit the continental United States this year, breaking a record set in 1916, said the researcher from the State University of California. Colorado, Phil Klotzbach.