SWLA remembers Hurricane Rita seven years later - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA remembers Hurricane Rita seven years later

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

In the early morning hours of Sept. 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita made landfall as a Category 3 storm with winds of 115 miles per hour.  The storm's damage was felt all across Southwest Louisiana but many of the homes and businesses in lower Cameron Parish were completely wiped out.  

After the storm, the only building left standing in Cameron was the old courthouse.

We asked viewers to share their memories of that day.

"Taking a ride down to Cameron, La. knowing these people lost everything. My heart was so broken, can't even imagine what it would be like. People out here were complaining about no electricity and how hot they were, but most of them had a home to go back to.  We are proud of our people in Cameron." - Shirley Vincent.

"I was 15 when Rita came through.  Johnson Bayou was destroyed!!! We had to get to our home by a boat, what was left behind was gone. We evacuated to Lafayette where we stayed for 2 months.  Then we stayed in Vinton & attended school in Hackberry for the remainder of the year. Through all the heartache we still have our memories, & that's what keeps me going." - Lexie Abshire 

"I worked at Women's and Children's and that was about the only place that had lights for almost a week. It housed many of the people that came in to assist local police/sheriff department and some of our own local officials and state troopers.  I was fortunate to see a true community spirit that helped in getting us back to the great city and parish that I am proud to call 'home.'" - Skip Nunnally

You can join the conversation on our Facebook page.

On later editions of 7News, hear from Lake Charles Mayor, Randy Roach and Calcasieu Parish OEP Director, Dick Gremillion on their thoughts of how far the area has come seven years later.

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