Workers board up a workshop ahead of Hurricane Delta in Abbeville, Louisiana, US, on Thursday, October 8, 2020. Picture: BLOOMBERG/Bryan Tarnowski
Workers board up a workshop ahead of Hurricane Delta in Abbeville, Louisiana, US, on Thursday, October 8, 2020. Picture: BLOOMBERG/Bryan Tarnowski

For six weeks, residents of the tiny bayou town of Cameron, Louisiana, have been plucking their wind-tossed belongings from swamps, ripping out soggy dry wall and attempting to piece their lives back together after being bowled over by Hurricane Laura.

Now, with the town still in ruins, another storm is approaching.

Hurricane Delta, which grew into a major Category 3 storm on Thursday, is forecast to hit nearly the same spot as Laura. For Cameron, it would be a devastating one-two punch.

“Debris is still everywhere,” said Tressie Smith, a Cameron native who lost her home and the seafood restaurant she owns in Laura. She is evacuating to the Houston area to avoid Delta, forecast to make landfall on Friday.

The region is a hub for the oil, petrochemical and liquefied natural gas industries. Many people in Cameron and nearby Lake Charles work at refineries or on shrimping boats or offshore platforms. If the forecasts are right, they will soon be facing the rare and unfortunate fate of fending off one hurricane while still recovering from another.

Entergy Corporation, which owns the local utility, did not fully restore power to the region until October 1. On Wednesday, workers in Lake Charles were picking up debris and downed trees that have lined the streets since Laura so that they do not become projectiles during Delta.

Thousands of residents are living in temporary housing, including trailers and tents, after their homes were destroyed in Laura. Others are living in homes with tarpaulins covering huge holes in their roofs.

“Lake Charles is still very much on its knees,” said Jim Serra, a long-time resident. “We simply can’t handle the direct hit of another major hurricane without exponential impacts on life and property. Not this soon.”

Bloomberg

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