Ruston hurricane damage, recovery efforts

Community

RUSTON, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– Hurricane Laura tore through Ruston taking out 95% of the city’s electrical grid.

“We’ve been out since 10am yesterday morning,” David Cannon, a resident, said.

The strong winds knocked down hundreds of trees destroying homes and power lines across the city.

“They warned us that it comes coming this way, and sure enough, they were right,” Cannon said. We just sat here and waited for it to come.”

According to locals, Hurricane Laura was worse than any other storm they have ever seen hit their community, including last April’s tornado.

“If not harder,” Cannon said. “It was a lot more widespread than it was during the tornado last year.”

Gas stations are without electricity and the majority working off of generators are now out of fuel.

Cars fill the streets as locals search for a hot meal and gasoline, while others stay home to pick up what the storm left behind.

“We didn’t have any structural damage, but this yard is a mess,” Cannon said. “We have 10,000 little limbs broken out of these big trees, so we’re trying to get them cleaned up and stay ahead of the game.”

Recovery efforts are in full effect in Ruston. Friday morning the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office provided boxes of tarp for those who have roof damage. The boxes are set up outside of the Public Safety Complex for those who are in need.

Meanwhile, the National Guard handed out food and bottled water at the North Louisiana Exhibition Center. Trunks and backseats were filled with boxes full of ready-to-eat meals to help families who are without power.

City officials said they are doing everything they can to help Ruston get back on it’s feet as quickly as possible. Mayor Ronny Walker said crews are working to repair damages and the city hopes to have power back on by Tuesday of next week.

Through it all, locals say the city will stay “Ruston Strong.”

“Ruston is of course a strong place, the parish is a strong place, and Louisiana is a strong place,” Doug Postel, Lincoln Parish Police Jury Administrator, said. “I think our people of Louisiana are very special. We have a grit to us in the sense of community and I think that’s just going to shine in these trying times.”

The city has set a curfew that will run from 7am-7pm to ensure safety due to the power outages.

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