Hurricane Laura Recovery Efforts Begin While California Wildfires Continue to Burn Across the State
Recovery efforts are still ongoing for those affected by Hurricane Laura, two weeks after the storm made its way across southwest Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services recorded 12,913 individuals being sheltered in the state across 42 hotels in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport, Louisiana, according to ABC’s KTRK-TV in Houston, Texas. In Texas, the Texas Division of Emergency Management is sheltering 5,200 Louisiana residents in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.
NBC’s and CW’s KPLC in Lake Charles, Louisiana, issued recovery updates for Calcasieu Parish, noting the Parish remains under a mandatory evacuation order. Sewer District No. 11 of Wards 3 and 8 in Mallard Junction asked customers to minimize water consumption due to the power outages caused by the hurricane. The District is currently functioning with a low-pressure sewer system and the use of excessive water could cause a sewer overflow.
ABC’s KTRK-TV in Houston, Texas reports via the local energy company Entergy that over 85,000 customers were still without power in Louisiana. The company provides power to parts of Louisiana and Texas, and to date it has restored power to 179,000 customers. It is estimated that it will take another six to eight weeks to restore power in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.
While many begin recovery from the devastating impacts of Laura, residents of California continue to battle wildfires. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) stated the wildfires in California have burned 2.28 million acres to date, with 3,849 structures damaged or destroyed. There have been eight confirmed fatalities, and the SCU Lightning Complex is still the largest active incident; burning 396,624 acres with a 97 percent containment rate. The Creek Fire actively burned throughout the night in Fresno County, with zero percent contained. In Madera County, the Red Flag Weather Warning was extended through Wednesday for 8 pm PDT, with high temperatures, low humidity, and high winds expected to persist in the area. CAL FIRE posted evacuation orders for Madera County, with evacuation warnings for Fresno County and Madera County.
UnSplash: Issy Bailey
The Bear Fire (part of the North Complex fire) spread quickly as a result of Red Flag conditions and moved toward communities east of Oroville, California – forcing more evacuations. The New York Times spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Shoemaker, who said the immense volume of smoke from the fire rose over the night to 40,000 feet. He added changing wind patterns would force the smoke eastward, possibly clearing the air near the coast. However, he cautioned that as the smoke reverses, the old smoke may be pushed back ashore.
It’s National Preparedness Month! We are kicking off this month by talking about the importance of making a plan before a disaster happens. #DisastersWontWait!
— Readygov (@Readygov) September 1, 2020
Disasters Don’t Wait: Twitter
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages individuals to prepare and plan for disasters. It’s never too soon to prepare for an event. Individuals should follow the guidance of local authorities and remain safe. NBC’s KPRC provides information about active drop-off donation sites in Texas and Louisiana. Requested supplies include diapers, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, nonperishable food, bottled water, and pet food and supplies.
The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation, visit Disaster Discourse for the latest information.
- Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for Wildfire and how to keep you and your family safe.
- The Los Angeles Times regularly updated tracking of California Wildfires: California Wildfires Map.
- The National Fire Protection Association provides wildfire preparedness tips: link
- Marin County provides a wildfire evacuation checklist: link
- FEMA provides an information video about how to be prepared for Wildfires: link
- Understanding the meaning of hurricane maps – a NY Times Opinion Piece: Those Hurricane Maps Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean