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

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Delta leaves nearly 700,000 homes, businesses without power in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi

Nearly 700,000 homes and businesses in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are in the dark after losing power due to Delta, which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane and has since been downgraded to a tropical depression.

According to the data aggregator PowerOutage.us, 685,195 utility customers were without power across the three states as of 2:40 p.m. ET Saturday.

That was down from the nearly 750,000 households and businesses that had power outages earlier Saturday. The highest number of outages is in Louisiana with more than 546,000.

Delta made landfall on Friday evening as a Category 2 near Creole, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. Just six weeks earlier, the Louisiana coastal area was battered by Hurricane Laura.

The storm then moved directly over Lake Charles, a waterfront city about 30 miles inland where homes and buildings were already damaged by Laura.

The storm is expected to track northeastward across the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys, bringing “destructive winds and dangerous flooding,” according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of the Southeast will continue to see heavy rain, resulting in flash floods. A few tornadoes are also possible for the area, while New England was advised to prepare for strong to severe thunderstorms.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, who rode out Delta’s arrival downtown, said tarps were flying off homes across the city and piles of wreckage were being blown around, some of it floating in the surge of ocean water.

Brian Schexnayder walks down a flooded street Saturday in Iowa, La.Jonathan Bachman / Reuters

“I’m in a building right now with a tarp on it and just the sound of the tarp flapping on the building sounds like someone pounding with a sledgehammer on top of the building,“ Hunter said. ”It’s pretty intense.”

In Lake

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Delta now a tropical storm; nearly 500K Louisiana homes lose power

Nearly a half-million Louisiana homes were reportedly without electrical power early Saturday morning, hours after Hurricane Delta made landfall in the Gulf Coast state.

As of 11:30 p.m. CT Friday, nearly 465,000 Louisiana households were affected by the outage, according to poweroutage.us. The number rose to more than 480,000 households shortly after midnight.

By 1 a.m. CT Saturday, the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm, according to an advisory from the National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was located 15 miles east-southeast of Alexandria, La., with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, the NHS advisory said.

By 4 a.m. CT Saturday, the tropical storm was about 45 miles south-southeast of Monroe, La., with maximum sustained winds down to 45 mph, the NHS said in an advisory.

Delta had hit land around 6 p.m. CT Friday near Creole, La., with heavy rainfall and strong winds in a region already battered by multiple hurricanes this year.

On Friday morning, Delta was still off the Louisiana coast when it was downgraded from a Category 3 hurricane — with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph — to a Category 2, with sustained winds of 115 mph, the NHC reported.

Just over an hour after making landfall, the storm weakened to a Category 1 as it continued to move inland.

Delta had sustained winds near 100 mph when it made landfall as a life-threatening storm surge. 

Winds were so strong that shingles atop the eight-room boutique L’Banca Albergo Hotel in Lake Arthur were pulled off. 

“I probably don’t have a shingle left on the top of this hotel,” owner Roberta Palermo told The Associated Press.

She said the electricity was out and, across the street, she could see pieces of metal coming off the roof of a 100-year-old building. Unsecured trash cans

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