The Headlines were “Unsurvivable and Catastrophic”.
Landfall occurred at Cameron Parish at 1AM, August 27, 2020 with maximum winds of 150 mph a strong category 4 hurricane. (Katrina’s winds were 125 mph at landfall). Laura was the strongest land falling hurricane in Louisiana on record since 1856 (that one hit the community of “Last Island.’).
Laura is tied with the fifth strongest storm to hit the US. Highest wind speed estimate before equipment failure at Lake Charles Airport was 133 mph.
The Aftermath: Catastrophic was definitely the correct description tor Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana ! The aftermath is unbelievable. From Entergy alone the damage assessment revealed 1,000 transmission towers, 6,600 broken poles, 338 miles of wire, and almost 3000 transformers requiring a near complete rebuild of the system.
Homes were blow apart, shingles flew off of houses, trees toppled or snapped, roofs collapsed, bricks tumbled. Billboards messages flew off and some billboards actually fell on homes. But our house stood firm.
We drove back into Lake Charles to assess our damage and clean out the refrigerators and freezers. We had driven from our evacuation location of Lewisville, TX in Big Hat, our motorhome, but parked it in the Kroger parking lot instead of driving it into the neighborhood because of all the trees and debris across the road (and the possibility of getting flat tires from the fences and roofing nails).
IT’s UNBELIEVABLE— OUR MADE IT THROUGH THE STORM! The big maple and pin oak trees in the back yard fell and knocked out the fence. They even fell toward the house, but not ON the house. Our big windows on the back were fine as was our roof. We are so fortunate because this good news certainly did not apply to our neighbors nor to the town.
After we finished what we had planned to do at home, we drove our car back to the Kroger parking lot and spent the night in Big Hat. Kroger had crews cleaning the parking lot that night and much to our surprise, were fully open on Saturday morning! We drove the car back to our house in the morning and packed the clothes and supplies we needed for evacuation.
Since Lake Charles is under mandatory evacuation and that fact that we have no damage to the house, we decided to pack up the motorhome and finish the rest of our summer vacation that was cut short in July.
We drove to Katy Lake RV Park in Katy, TX and paid to stay there for a few days.
We drove over to Dan and Brenda’s house and visited with them the rest of Saturday before heading back to the RV Park to spend the night.
Sunday, August 30, we spent the day with Dan and Brenda again.
Monday, August 31 we drove out to Fulshear and spent the day with Steve and Mary Cole
Tuesday, September 1 - We got the oil and cabin filter changed in the car and Tom got a haircut. In the evening we drove back to Dan & Brenda’s for dinner and to visit.
Wednesday, September 2 - We left Katy and drove to Austin East KOA.
Thursday, September 3 - AUSTIN, TX -We drove down to the Capitol in hopes of being able to tour the building, but it was gated off because of COVID-19. We walked around the capitol block and then drove to Black’s BBQ where we met Michael for lunch.
Friday, September 4 - We headed further NW to the Whip In RV Park in Big Spring, TX.