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Hurricane Laura: Aftermath, Rising Death Toll and Relief Efforts

Hurricane Laura ran its course through the states of Louisiana and Texas only days after the two states survived the wrath of Tropical Storm Marco.

In Louisiana, many residents returned to their homes to find them destroyed or completely without power. It is unclear when power will return as Laura destroyed parts of Louisiana’s power grid. Utility officials have told residents to expect the power outages to last up to two months. Lake Charles, where the storm entered the state, also experienced damage to their water supply. The mayor warned residents it could be weeks before water service is restored.

In Texas, approximately 2,000 residents evacuated their homes to seek shelter elsewhere. Many who returned home were also met with severe property damages and power outages.

There are 17 confirmed deaths in Louisiana and Texas combined, however, that number is expected to rise as relief efforts in the regions continue.

It is being reported that chemical plants in both states released 4 million pounds of air pollutants as a part of safety procedures and preparation for Hurricane Laura. This was the lesser of two evils as these plants ran the risk of releasing more pollutants and catching on fire if procedures were not carried out and Laura were to damage them.

A part of the pollutants released is carbon dioxide as well as chemicals including benzene and nitrogen oxides. All of which can add to the deterioration of human health including respiratory illnesses. Feelings of concern continue to stir amongst state officials, health officials and residents as Texas remains a hotspot for the novel coronavirus which is known to affect the respiratory system.

President Trump toured both states days after the hurricane ended. During his visit Trump assured residents and state officials that FEMA will be stepping in to provide aid that includes 400,000 liters of water and 20,000 meals.

Trump also claimed that Laura was stronger than the notorious Hurricane Katrina that left the state of Louisiana in ruins 15 years ago.

The question is, are the relief efforts going to be more costly?

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