LAKE CHARLES, La. — Hurricane Laura ravaged the Lake Charles, La. and coastal towns nearby after 150-mile-per-hour winds, storm surge, and rain tore through the area when the Category 4 hurricane made landfall.
The violent conditions tossed boats like toys, ripped roofs off buildings, toppled trees onto homes, power lines, and streets, and shattered glass windows on the Capital One Tower and L'Auberge casino.
More than 10 miles away, the storm caused a chemical fire in the town of Westlake at BioLab, a pool chemical company. It sent billowing smoke into the air, forcing a shelter-in-place order from Louisiana's governor.
McNeese State University’s brand-new basketball stadium was rocked by strong gusts, tearing off wall panels exposing the hardwood and hoops. Outside, the football field flooded.
Storm surge washed out streets in Cameron and Hackberry, coastal towns south of Lake Charles.
Interstate 10 remained closed at the Texas border to Lake Charles as of just before midnight on Thursday after closing more than 24 hours prior.
Members of the Louisiana National Guard worked to clear debris in Lake Charles Thursday in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
A 14-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on her home in Vernon Parish. She was one of six people who were killed, at least four of them by falling trees across Louisiana as the hurricane made landfall along the Gulf Coast early Thursday.
A 60-year-old man in Acadia Parish was killed when a tree fell on him during Laura. A third person was also killed by a falling tree in Jackson Parish, the governor's office confirmed.
At his afternoon press briefing Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said a fourth person was killed. That death was in one of the three parishes where another person was killed.