WESTLAKE, La. — In a neighborhood along the Calcasieu River, Hurricane Laura transformed the roads into a perilous labyrinth of snapped utility poles, tangles of wires and uprooted trees. In one spot, a broken pine was suspended over the asphalt by a single strained utility line. Yet a parade of vehicles still passed beneath: People desperately wanted to get home.
In past storms, Patricia Broussard had been one of the lucky ones, spared from significant damage. But this time, the hurricane ripped through the mobile home where she lives with her grandson, just as it did to most of her neighbors’ homes. She had covered the enormous holes in the side of the house and was wielding a large lopper to cut off damaged siding.
“This trailer probably isn’t going to be good anymore,” said Ms. Broussard, 62, her face reddened by the blistering heat. “But I’m doing what I