Lake Charles resident and now an evacuee after Hurricane Laura destroyed her house, Joanne LaFleur, right, spends time in the breezeway of the Springhill Suites on Julia Street in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. She is sitting with other evacuees from the Lake Charles area. (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate) It was one of those moments that in hindsight Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter wishes he would have knocked on wood and spit three times as he said on Aug. 19: “We’ll be in decent in shape unless a hurricane hits us.”
Hunter had joined other mayors imploring the U.S. Congress to cease its bickering and agree on financial aid to help local governments overcome a significant drop in revenues after many businesses closed to mitigate the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. Hunter, like other Louisiana mayors, was forced to tap the city’s disaster fund to cover the cost of law enforcement, sanitation and other services.
A little more than a week later on Aug. 27, Hurricane Laura came ashore 30 miles south of Lake Charles with 150 mile-per-hour winds.
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