By Stephanie Kelly
LAKE CHARLES, La. (Reuters) – Louisianans continued storm cleanup on Sunday after Hurricane Delta rolled through the region on Friday, as more returned to survey damage to their homes, having waited out the storm elsewhere.
Delta made landfall near the town of Creole in Cameron Parish early Friday evening as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, packing sustained winds of 100 miles per hour (160 km per hour).
By Sunday the storm had weakened to a post-tropical cyclone, but continued to be a heavy rainfall threat, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm knocked out power for more than half a million customers and compounded damage from the more powerful Hurricane Laura, which devastated the region in August.
Video: Hurricane Delta weakens after churning into storm-battered Louisiana (Reuters)
Though Sam Jones, 77, waited out the storm in his Lake Charles home, he was leaving on Sunday to stay with his son in Fort Worth, Texas, because his electricity had not come back online yet. Jones had only recently had his power restored after Laura.
“I don’t see any electricity coming back anytime soon, so I’m going to give them about a week and then come back,” he said. “When you can’t put any air on, it puts you to where you don’t get a good night sleep.”
His neighbor, who evacuated to Moss Bluff ahead of the storm, came back Saturday to grab essentials before leaving again because her power was out, too.
Many residents in Lake Charles and elsewhere left before the storm. As of Sunday morning, 9,109 Louisianans were still in shelters, with more than 8,200 of the evacuees in hotels and in the Alexandria “mega” shelter, according to Catherine Heitman, spokesperson for the Department of Children and Family Services.
Hurricane Delta also cut most U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico oil output and 62% of natural gas, the Department of Interior reported.
(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)