MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Hurricane Laura blew through the City of Monroe as a category one storm and left a swath of damage in her wake.
Dealing with a natural disaster, Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis is doing what comes natural to him.
“I like to be boots on the ground in a sense so I loaded up my truck with water and food to hand out to residents without power,” says Ellis.
He has spent the last few days going through neighborhoods delivering water and food. He says this is helping him figure out what comes next.
“It’s helped me out a lot to understand what steps we need at this point.”
And it’s helping him grasp what residents need most.
“We need our power restored… there’s a lot of trees that are entangled with power lines right now that are keeping our public works from getting to those areas.”
Ellis says the power company and the public works department are working around the clock to get power restored and areas cleaned up.
Belinda Jackson has lived in her home on Standifer Circle in Monroe for 39 years. She says she’s seen many storms, but this one was different.
“We actually saw those trees cracking and breaking down… I heard something go BOOM like a bomb!”
The tree in Jackson’s back yard fell across some lines and through her fence. Residents on Standifer Circle lost power for four days.
“There’s a lot of seniors who stay around here and they were kind of worried and upset about the storm and kind of afraid of what might happen next,” says Jackson.
Ellis says his biggest concern is making sure the most vulnerable citizens are taken care of.
“I’m really concerned about our sick and our elderly.”
One thing that has stood out, is the spirit of the city’s people.
“The strength is in our people, the volunteerism here, people stepping up and helping one another…”
Mayor Ellis says the city is working to determine the financial impact of Hurricane Laura. He says they are working to get the city cleaned up as quickly as possible and back to normal operations.