Hurricane Laura Hurls Through Louisiana

Hurricane Laura destroys homes in Louisiana early August.

Chloe Clendenin, Author

In the Northern Atlantic Ocean, a distinct hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30. This August, two tropical storms hit the Caribbean and Gulf Coast. Hurricane Laura touched down at Cameron, Louisiana on August 27th with category two winds after downgrading from a category four with 150 mph winds. It left devastating effects on the US states of Louisiana and Texas. On its way to the US, it met with Tropical Storm Marco. Tropical storm Marco formed in the Caribbean and followed to the Gulf of Mexico alongside Hurricane Laura. Two named storms existing in the same area, The Gulf of Mexico, haven’t happened since 1959. 

With the 150 mph winds, it was Louisiana’s strongest hurricane since 1856. Hurricane Laura left behind a devastating path of fallen trees, destroyed homes, wrecked buildings, and of course no power or water. The hurricane was so large, it covered almost the entire state, which affected almost every area in Louisiana. Eastern parts of Texas were also affected and faced the damages. 

Following the effects and severity of Laura, there were 16 deaths, but most were from carbon dioxide poisoning. Carbon dioxide poisoning was very common because of the incorrect usage of backup power generators. Aside from deaths, 19 babies were born in the midst of the chaos. After barely surviving this trauma, the children and their mothers were transferred to hospitals in nearby states. Most are on ventilators but they will survive. 

The current COVID-19 pandemic made efforts for evacuees complicated. Instead of having evacuation shelters, they redirected people to hotels. Once one hotel would fill up, they redirected people in need of shelter to another hotel, and so on. 

The cleanup started soon after the destruction occurred. President Trump, as well as relief volunteers, have made a visit to contribute to the cleanup. 220,000 people are without water and many won’t have electricity or air conditioning until they get things back to normal which is estimated to take weeks or months. The Louisiana Department of Health estimated that it could take years to get the system fully restored and running. 130 cats and dogs were also rescued in the aftermath. Many animal shelters or rescue companies are saving these animals to nurture them back to health, heal their wounds, and to find them new loving homes. 

These are devastating and scary times for everyone involved. Because the Hurricane isn’t making headlining news, people think it’s in the past and dealt with. However, these people still need our help and contributions. Make sure to do some research and make sure the organization you contribute to is trustworthy. Use sites like Charity Navigator or Guidestar, which grade nonprofit organizations on their effectiveness and how financially reliable they are, before you make a donation of your own.