LAKE CHARLES – WGNO Chief Photographer Patrick Thomas spent the day in Lake Charles, surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Laura.
One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., Laura barreled across Louisiana on Thursday, shearing off roofs, killing a least four people and maintaining ferocious strength while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.
Initial reports offered hope that Laura, despite leaving entire neighborhoods in ruins and more than 875,000 people without power, was not the annihilating menace that forecasters had feared.
“It is clear that we did not sustain and suffer the absolute, catastrophic damage that we thought was likely,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “But we we have sustained a tremendous amount of damage,” he said.
He called it the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana, meaning it surpassed even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit in 2005.