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ORANGE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of power trucks are filling the parking lots of Orange, Texas Thursday evening, nearly 24 hours after Hurricane Laura made landfall.
However, as residents slowly return, many are still figuring out just how much damage was done amid power outages extending across the coastal region.
After days of loud warnings and a night of deafening winds, the only sound on some parts of the Gulf Coast Thursday came from rattling wreckage.
Storm surge debris, standing water and miles of downed power lines left coastal highways nearly impassable.
But some evacuees managed to weave their way back home. Craig Broussard evacuated Holly Beach, Louisiana, fearing storm surge described as “unsurvivable.”
He returned with wonder at damage done by the wind.
“Just despair, it’s a lot of work ahead. Take it a day at a time,” Broussard said.
He said his reinforced front door that opened outward was blown inward by the winds. Flying debris broke holes through the roof and walls.
In his kitchen, every drawer was open, showing just how much the house shook.
“Very overwhelming you know. My in-laws, they live here. That property has been in his family since the 40s, you know,” Bobby DeDear said.
There was similar damage to nearly every home in the coastal neighborhoods that took Laura’s winds head on. As far as Broussard knew, all of his neighbors evacuated.
There was, however, some optimism. Even after a major hurricane, the Broussards still had something left.
“At least we got… nobody’s hurt… we still have a house, needs a lot of work and let’s put it this way, I know what I’m doing the next couple of months,” Broussard said.
Even with all of these resources, it could take weeks for power to be restored to some of the hardest hit areas like Holly Beach.