‘Still standing:’ Louisiana residents begin lengthy recovery process after hurricanes Delta, Laura

Saturday was a day of clean-up across Jennings, Louisiana following Hurricane Delta’s unwelcome visit.

“When the wind shifted, after that eye passed we heard the tree hit the roof,” said resident Lisa Bourg.

For the Bourg family, this nearly 100-year-old tree was uprooted and came toppling over into a part of the family’s apartment home just behind their own house.

Considering it held up against Hurricane Laura, they never imagined it would come down during Delta.

“I think that if Laura did not happen, we probably would not have lost a tree. I think Laura started it all and Delta finished it,” she said.

Many others across the area also spent the day hard at work picking up following the storm.

“It’s a lot of work with all the branches in the trees. We’re still picking up from the first one,” said resident Michael Johnson.

A quick drive through the small town, which has a population of only about 11,000, displayed power lines that couldn’t hold up against the hurricane’s strong winds and several downed trees scattered across the entire area.

“I heard a big thud and I knew it had something on the roof. I just didn’t know what it was,” said resident Larry Freyou.

A place that was already in the process of recovering from Laura, starting all over again because of Delta.

“I don’t know what we did to deserve this two times in a row six weeks apart,” said resident Michael Johnson.

“I worry about everybody in this town’s emotional well-being. But I know we’re gonna pull through Jennings is an incredible little town,” said Bourg.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who toured the storm damage Saturday, said it’s difficult to tell what came from which storm. However, he is vowing to help residents get back on their feet.

“We’re going to work as hard as we can and as fast as we can to get lives right side up again," he said. "As if Laura wasn’t enough, we had to have Delta come through last night.”

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said there is no doubt this city is battered and bruised after Delta.

“They’re assessing which neighborhoods have flooding,” said Hunter. "They say that the difference between Delta and Laura is the latter was more of a wind event. What you see here with Delta was rain and today residents are cleaning up after it.”

Resident Milton Wesley said Delta dropped about three or four feet of rain. But by midday, Saturday, the water in his yard had receded but his street remained a stream.

Mary Bellard said Delta’s 90 to 100 mile per hour winds plucked part of the tarp, but that’s the extent of the storm’s damage to her home. She said she still needs a new roof because of Laura.

“My roof was damaged. All one side of my house in Laura,” she said. “It’s still standing, girl, look I seen big houses had fallen, but God gave this to me.”

About the Authors:

Galveston-born, award-winning journalist, dog owner, foodie & occasional golfer.