At least 400,000 without power in Louisiana amid Laura clean-up

At least 400,000 without power in Louisiana amid Laura clean-up
The damage is extensive and it will take time for communities to return to a sense of normality. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Residents in coastal areas of the US state of Louisiana face the prospect of weeks without power or water as the clean-up begins following the devastating impact of Hurricane Laura.

Officials said more than 400,000 were without power on Saturday morning and 200,000 without water.

Governor of the state John Bel Edwards says the devastation and damage stretch all the way to northern parts of Louisiana.

Fourteen people were killed by the storm – 10 in Louisiana, four in Texas.

In Haiti, which was earlier badly hit by storms Marco and Laura, at least 31 people are now reported to have died.

President Donald Trump has said he will travel to Texas and Louisiana this weekend.

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The White House has declared a major disaster in several parishes in Louisiana – which will mean federal funds can be sent to the hardest-hit areas of the state urgently.

A White House statement said: “Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.”

The Louisiana governor has called storm “the strongest storm to ever hit Louisiana”. It was a category-four hurricane at the time it hit.

Communities have been helping each other – here owners of a restaurant serve free hot food. Source: Reuters

Governor Edwards said in a statement: “The devastation and damage stretch from south-west Louisiana all the way through north Louisiana, with more than a half a million power outages remaining, tens of thousands of people displaced from their homes and, sadly, at least 10 lives lost.”

Of the 10 people to lose their lives Louisiana, five died from carbon monoxide poisoning from gas-powered emergency generators, four from trees falling and one from drowning.

Officials reported, a man was killed when a tree hit his home in Texas, and three people lost their lives in Port Arthur, possibly from carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the Red Cross, around 8,000 homes were possibly destroyed in the two states.

There was more structural damage from winds than anticipated, but the water damage was less than anticipated.

Some 1,500 people, including National Guard, are being deployed in rescue and clean-up missions.

Lauren Sylvester, a resident of Lake Charles, Louisiana, followed orders to evacuate and on Friday she returned to her house on to see power lines and trees strewn around the streets.

You may read: At least six die as Hurricane Laura batters Louisiana