LAKE CHARLES, La. (KLFY) Calcasieu Parish continues to fight its way back after Hurricane Laura ripped through the area two weeks ago.
I spoke with the mayor of Lake Charles today about where they stand now and how we can help them continue their recovery.
“I can tell you, I get texts of joy hourly from citizens saying, ‘Oh My, God! We’ve got power.’ I’m a little jealous. I don’t have that right now at my house.”
The recovery in Lake Charles is progressing more quickly than expected, according to Mayor Nic Hunter.
“We do have a boil advisory, but the vast majority of our citizens, if they are able to accept it unless they have a break in the water line, have water,” Mayor Hunter was excited to announce.
The destruction in the city and surrounding area cannot be overstated. Pictures and video don’t do the catastrophic damage justice.
Mayor Hunter agrees. “Images take your breath away. I still will drive down the streets of Lake Charles and I look around me and I can’t believe it. I still can’t find the words to describe it.”
Mayor Hunter is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people in Louisiana. As power and water are restored more each day, he explained they are still in need of help.
“I would encourage people if you want to help, pray on it, you do what’s right and what’s best and what your heart tells you is the right thing to do. The most nimble resource is money. It may be food and water we need this week. It may be housing or small business support we need next week.”
United Way and Community Foundation have set up accounts specifically for Hurricane Laura relief, and it’s one way people from across the state and country can assist in the relief effort.
Charitable organizations that provide equipment for cleanup are staged in the Lake Charles area, but Mayor Hunter says they need manpower.
“Another thing we really need is people willing to go and help some of our low to moderate income citizens clean up their homes, clean up their property.”
Roughly 115k people live in the Greater Lake Charles area.
He ended the interview with a message about his city and what we can all do to help.
“But we just need the average American to continue to tell the story and not let others forget about what’s going on here in Lake Charles. We are going to need Louisiana’s and America’s help to get through this, but this is something we will get through and we will build a more resilient and stronger community out of this.”
Mayor Hunter’s team is updating the city’s Facebook page with information on how and where we can help them recover.