After Delta rips tarps off homes of Laura victims, Operation Blue Roof to restart in Louisiana | Weather/Traffic

After Hurricane Delta ripped off the blue tarp roofs installed after Hurricane Laura tore through southwest Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday the state is returning to a federal program for storm victims to get the temporary roofs put on their homes once again.

“Many of those (tarps) didn’t make it through Hurricane Delta,” Edwards said during a brief news conference before touring more storm-affected parishes. “So we’re going to turn that back on for the same six parishes” that were eligible for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program.

Those parishes are Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon parishes. People can call (888) 766-3258 or go to usace.army.mil/blueroof to sign up. 

Edwards said the number of power outages has been cut in half, from a peak of 688,000 outages to 348,609 as of noon Sunday. While Delta cut a wide swath of damage to electrical grids, the damage wasn’t nearly as extensive as that brought by Laura, and the governor has said it will not take as long to restore power this time around.

National Guard troops were distributing supplies from staging areas in five hard-hit parishes, and search-and-rescue teams had done 4,000 searches and damage assessments. About 112 roads and 35 bridges remained closed Sunday because of storm damage.

Delta made landfall Friday night just 12 miles away from where Laura barreled into southwest Louisiana about a month and a half ago as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful ever recorded in the state. Delta, a Category 2 storm, didn’t produce nearly the wind damage as Laura, but did inundate some areas with rain and storm surge.

More than 9,100 Louisianans remained sheltered by the states of Louisiana and Texas as of Sunday, Edwards said. The vast majority of those were Laura victims staying in hotels, while about 840 were Hurricane Delta victims staying in state-run mega-shelters in Alexandria and Bastrop.

And the governor reminded residents to stay vigilant about the coronavirus, after the storm forced the state to shutter its community testing sites.

“I know there are people who are fatigued by these disasters and emergencies,” Edwards said. “I will just remind you COVID is not going to go away just because we are tired of it.”

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