As southwest Louisiana prepares for Laura, some fear what they’ll return to: ‘It’s not looking good’

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    Cattlemen load livestock into a trailer to evacuate them in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Postal worker Arvet LeDoux wraps up a mailbox in preparation for Hurricane Laura so that people won’t drop off their mail Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Lake Charles, La.

    Richman Reinhauer boards up his windows with his sons Ben, 14, left, and Kai, 15, in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Lake Charles, La.

    Bobby Miller, right, gets help from Lance Terrot in loading up furniture and other belongings in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at his camp on Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Bobby Miller loads up his belongings in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at his camp on Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Cattlemen load livestock into a trailer to evacuate them in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    A full cattle trailer leaves the pasture as livestock is evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Oil rigs can be seen in the gulf as cattle wait to be evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Clouds hang over Rutherford Beach ahead of Hurricane Laura’s landfall Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Cameron Parish.

    Brandon Harrington, right, and Fabian Bellard shut a gate as they load cattle into a trailer to evacuate them in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Hackberry resident Kirk Seay fills up canisters and his generator with gas in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, north of Hackberry, La.

    Residents prepare to move a boat out of town in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Cameron, La.

    A mailbox is well wrapped in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Cameron, La.

    Cattlemen load livestock into a trailer to evacuate them in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Richman Reinhauer boards up his windows with his sons Ben, 14, left, and Kai, 15, in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Lake Charles, La.

    Bobby Miller, right, gets help from Lance Terrot in loading up furniture and other belongings in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at his camp on Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Bobby Miller loads up his belongings in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at his camp on Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Oil rigs can be seen in the gulf as cattle wait to be evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Brandon Harrington, right, and Fabian Bellard shut a gate as they load cattle into a trailer to evacuate them in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Hackberry resident Kirk Seay fills up canisters and his generator with gas in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, north of Hackberry, La.

    Residents prepare to move a boat out of town in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Cameron, La.

    A mailbox is well wrapped in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Cameron, La.

    The sky was gray Tuesday along the Southwest Louisiana coast but the calm Gulf of Mexico belied the trouble headed that way as Hurricane Laura took aim for the Louisiana-Texas line.

    If Laura’s track holds steady, winds in excess of 100 mph and a storm surge as high as 9 feet are possible in coastal regions of Southwest Louisiana Wednesday night and into Thursday. Unfortunately, coastal Louisiana residents aren’t unfamiliar with what that means.

    Postal worker Arvet LeDoux wraps up a mailbox in preparation for Hurricane Laura so that people won’t drop off their mail Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Lake Charles, La.

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    Downtown Lake Charles, where a mandatory evacuation order was issued Tuesday, was quiet. On 12th Street, residents boarded windows on their homes. Some businesses already were boarded up and closed.

    To the south, few residents were out Tuesday in the town of Cameron, which was nearly washed away by Hurricane Rita in 2005 and again by Hurricane Ike’s storm surge in 2008. Mobile homes elevated on stilts replaced many homes present before Rita. Other residents chose instead to live in RVs that are easily moved inland with the storm threat.

    On nearby Rutherford Beach, resident and cattleman Roman Theriot had help from other cattlemen Tuesday in moving 600 head of cattle to safety. 

    Theriot’s family owns the land on Rutherford Beach where his cattle graze. Hurricane Rita sent a 16-foot storm surge over the area, destroying his home and everything in it and killing 800 head of cattle, costing him $800,000.

    Cattlemen load livestock into a trailer to evacuate them in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Hurricane Ike, which made landfall in Galveston after skirting the Louisiana coast, submerged Rutherford Beach in about 12 feet of water, he said, but Theriot didn’t lose his house, which was elevated on pilings or his cattle, which had been moved to safety.

    Norbert Leonards, who lives in the country just south of Lake Charles, was helping Theriot move his cattle. He had about 300 head of cattle on his own land and was waiting to see Tuesday how big a threat Laura might be before relocating his cattle to higher ground.

    « When that water comes over that ridge, it’ll be as tall at that building, » he said, nodding at the shelter where cattle were sorted and moved into trailers.

    A full cattle trailer leaves the pasture as livestock is evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Laura Tuesday, August 25, 2020, near Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish.

    Bobby and Nelwyn Miller of Branch sat next to their RV on Rutherford Beach Tuesday, a dozen or more plastic tubs containing belongings stacked nearby while friends helped load furniture onto a trailer.

    The couple bought the site for their camp in June 2008, two months before Hurricane Ike struck. They didn’t have the camp on site yet, bringing the camper trailer in after the storm and adding a canopy and elevated deck. The camp has been the couple’s refuge all summer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    « It’s been so beautiful out here, Bobby Miller said. « They’re almost finished working on the rock barrier to restore the beach. It’s not looking good, though. »

    Clouds hang over Rutherford Beach ahead of Hurricane Laura’s landfall Tuesday, August 25, 2020, in Cameron Parish.

    The Millers weren’t confident Tuesday their camp, which they aren’t able to move because of salt water damage, will survive Laura’s onslaught.

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    SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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