Hurricane Laura damage across Chennault

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 1:40 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The devastation left behind from Hurricane Laura feels endless.

You can see it in your neighborhood, your favorite business and at school.

Right now, recovery efforts are taking place at Chennault International Airport who also took a big hit from Laura.

“We’ve seen 100% of our buildings across Chennault destroyed in some sort of fashion,” said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton.

Day after day, the remnants of Hurricane Laura and the long road to recovery becomes a bit more clear.

“What this storm has done though is come in and desolate some of our hangar space.”

The storm left its mark on buildings and aircraft. Winds from Laura tossed a Centauri aircraft that was donated just three months ago nearly 200 yards from its post.

“If I go back and give you just a very basic estimate of cost of repair, we’re looking at the tens of millions. There’s no question about that.”

Although not fully operational, one thing Laura didn’t take away was the airports ability to assist in recovery efforts.

“We put a lot of miles on foot and in vehicle covering every angle of the community that’s been affected. The spirit that we’re seeing amongst southwest Louisiana has been remarkable.”

Beyond the damage, Melton says it’s the response from the community and various agencies that holds more weight than Laura’s high winds.

“We’re going to recover, not as quick as I would like to be but we’re going to recover and do good for our community and our tenants.”

FEMA is staging their team at the Chennault air base also with Jefferson Davis co-op and Louisiana DOTD.

As for tenants at Chennault, all are non-operational at this time.

However, Melton says one tenant may be back up and running within the next two weeks.

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