Louisiana Resident Says Town Is Unrecognizable After Hurricane

Thursday, September 3rd 2020, 9:25 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

INOLA, Okla. -

The devastation from Hurricane Laura is being felt here in Oklahoma.

A woman from the Lake Charles area is visiting family near Inola. While Oklahomans are already helping with the recovery effort, those living in Louisiana need more help.

"People say it can't be that bad, trust me-- there's nothing,” Kasie Denny-Thornton said.

Kasie Denny-Thornton is from Sulphur Louisiana and is currently visiting family in Inola.

She said her town is unrecognizable after Hurricane Laura ripped through with powerful winds.

"Compared to what it was, it looked like a bomb had gone off in all the cities, to what it is now, people who had nothing started cleaning and now it is 50% better than what it looked like," she said.

Denny-Thornton said many of her family members are still cleaning up the damage. These are photos she has been sent by people back home.

She said she wants to share what it's really like and see if Oklahomans can get together and help.

"Having people outside of our state see what's really going on," Denny-Thornton said.

Many Oklahomans have already been in East Texas and Southern Louisiana. Right now, Crews from OG&E are in Lake Charles to help rebuild infrastructure.

"The damage is so extensive here," said Kenny McKinzie. "We're making a lot of repairs but it's going to be weeks before the power is returned."

Kenny McKinzie, an OG&E area supervisor, said the area is one of the hardest hit places he's seen, but it's an honor to help like they are.

He said there are more than 10,000 linemen to help restore power to the area.

"It's going to take a long time to recover from this," he said.

Denny-Thornton said people back home are working tirelessly to clean up, but she said many need crucial supplies like food, water, generators, cleaning supplies, gift cards and so much more.

"We're not moving mountains, but we're moving trees and we're staying together,” Denny-Thornton said.

Denny-Thornton said she's heading home next week to survey the damage to her home and retrieve some supplies.

If you want to help out, you can email Denny-Thornton at kec13_13@hotmail.com, as well as find other relief efforts through the Red Cross, donations for NOLA Ready, and Louisiana Volunteer and Relief Organizations.