hurricane laura

The state has spent more than $50 million to house evacuees after Hurricanes Delta and Laura, but thousands remain without long-term housing as officials phase out the hotel shelter program set up as a COVID-19 alternative to big congregate shelters.

Starsky Thibodeaux slots another pallet onto the forklift, signaling a thumbs-up for the driver to lift. Standing overhead on the green metal scaffolding, two men in black shirts and hats await to load and strap in six more moving can lights, sending them back to the warehouse floor. It’s pretty standard stuff for the Lafayette-based professional stage crew; only today, these lights aren’t destined for any big stage or audience to spotlight. Rather, Thibodeaux and his crew are on hand to help a fellow live event company, Deep South Productions of Lake Charles, safely relocate gear after its warehouse roof was shredded by Hurricane Laura a month ago.

School administrators were optimistic that a quick pivot to online learning could rescue the start of the school year in Southwest Louisiana, where Hurricane Laura hit late last month. Now, the region’s largest district has announced that virtual learning will be optional, citing a lack of internet access.

When Hurricane Laura made landfall on Aug. 27, it tore first through Cameron and Holly Beach — tiny coastal towns all too familiar with the decimation brought by hurricanes.

Like many districts across the country, Calcasieu Parish and Cameron Parish will start the school year entirely online. Unlike other districts, their decision has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Among the homes and businesses Hurricane Laura has destroyed and the lives it’s taken, the storm has also decimated coronavirus testing where Louisiana might need it most.

Aubri Juhasz / WWNO

Heading into Labor Day weekend, Gov. John Bel Edwards expressed concern that evacuations from Hurricane Laura could fuel the spread of the coronavirus.

Aubri Juhasz / WWNO

As Louisiana continues to recover from Hurricane Laura, state officials said Wednesday that more storm victims are seeking state assistance to find shelter.

The Environmental Protection Agency said none of the chemical and oil spills in Texas caused by Hurricane Laura are emitting dangerous levels of chemicals. Reports are not yet in for facilities in Louisiana.

New Orleans is “meeting the needs” of the roughly 9,600 people now sheltering in the city across 35 hotels after evacuating for Hurricane Laura, Mayor Latoya Cantrell said Tuesday.