Southwest Louisiana was pummeled by a hurricane — again — Friday. Just six weeks after Category 4 Laura unleashed destruction across the region, Hurricane Delta made landfall as a Category 2 storm near Creole, LA. Delta brought with it gusts up to 96 mph in Lake Charles, LA (the epicenter of Laura’s destruction), a record-breaking nine feet of storm surge in Lafayette, and up to 16 inches of rain in some locations. The storm was officially responsible for at least four deaths, as of Monday evening. “Our house used to be on top of that,” Dick Ferks of Cameron, LA, told Bloomberg, pointing to a 20-foot python rising from the bayou and moving across his property. The damage from the hurricanes — hitting in such quick succession that they cause damage greater than the sum of the two storms in isolation — is a harbinger of a new normal as climate change, caused by burning fossil fuels like gas, oil, and coal, heats oceans and fuels bigger and more destructive hurricanes.
Aerial photos showed blue tarped-roofs in tatters, a vivid encapsulation of the Hurricanes’ one-two punch. Brian Schexnayder’s home which largely survived Laura, is now a total loss because of water damage from Delta. “In the first five minutes, it blew the tarp off,” he told the New Orleans Advocate. (Washington Post $, Bloomberg $, New Orleans Advocate, Acadiana Advocate, Lafayette Daily Advertiser New York Times $, Times-Picayune, E&E $, AP, CBS, S&P Global; Deaths: CNN; Aerial photos: Acadiana Advocate; Climate Signals background: Hurricanes; 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season)