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Louisiana Begins Recovery Process After Hurricane Delta

lake charles overflight damage
Damage at an airport near Lake Charles, Louisiana, October 10 (USCG)

By The Maritime Executive 10-11-2020 01:00:02

Hurricane Delta has departed western Louisiana, leaving the prospect of more cleanup in a region already reeling from the impact of Hurricane Laura. 

Delta had a significant short-term effect on oil and gas production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), 274 production platforms were evacuated and shut down in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico prior to the storm's arrival, taking 92 percent of the region's offshore oil capacity offline. As of Sunday, BSEE reported that more than 75 shuttered platforms have been re-manned, but over 90 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's oil production capacity remains shut-in. 

Ports in the immediate vicinity of the storm's passage were also affected. Cameron and Lake Charles, Louisiana - the ports nearest the point of landfall - remained closed Sunday, along with the Calcasieu Waterway.

Beaumont, Orange, Port Arthur and Sabine, Texas were open with restrictions, including a draft limit and nighttime navigation restrictions on the Sabine-Neches Waterway. NOAA, USACE, Coast Guard and private operators were still surveying the region's waterways to ensure safety before a full reopening. 

Image courtesy FEMA

Image courtesy FEMA

In the city of Lake Charles, which was hit hard by Hurricane Laura, the passage of Hurricane Delta led to extensive flooding. Isolated areas near the town of Iowa received fully 17 inches of rain during the storm. “Add Laura and Delta together and it’s just absolutely unprecedented and catastrophic,” Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter told The Guardian. “We are very concerned that with everything going in the country right now that this incident may not be on the radar nationally like it should be.”

Two residents were killed in accidents indirectly caused by the storm, according to officials in Louisiana. 370,000 households lost power, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned that tens of thousands will need help in recovering after the storm's wind and water damage.