Natchitoches man among 2 new Hurricane Laura-related deaths confirmed by LDH


The line of storms that rolled through the ArkLaTex Friday morning is responsible for uprooted trees and power outages. (Photo: KTAL/KMSS Staff)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Louisiana Department of Health on Saturday confirmed two additional deaths tied to Hurricane Laura have been verified since Friday, bringing the state’s current death toll to 25.

According to the LDH, a 52-year-old man in Grant Parish died of a heat-related illness while removing debris following the storm. A 25-year-old man in Natchitoches Parish died of electrocution after coming into direct contact with a power line. He was resuscitated at the time, but later passed away. The coroner has confirmed this death is storm-related.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is North Louisiana Saturday to tour Hurricane Laura storm damage in the towns of Winnfield and Natchitoches from the air and to meet with local officials on the ground.

With five earlier deaths in Texas, the total death toll for the storm so far is 31. The Category 4 storm roared ashore in southwest Louisiana on Aug. 27.

Below are details on the 25 deaths LDH has verified to date:

  • 14-year-old female, Vernon Parish, fallen tree
  • 51-year-old male, Jackson Parish, fallen tree
  • 68-year-old male, Acadia Parish, fallen tree
  • 64-year-old female, Allen Parish, fallen tree
  • Male, Calcasieu Parish, drowning
  • 24-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 56-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 61-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 81-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 72-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 84-year-old male, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 80-year-old female, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 57-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, head injury after falling from roof
  • 31-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning
  • 49-year-old male, Rapides Parish, storm cleanup
  • 36-year-old male, Beauregard Parish, heat-related illness
  • 80- to 89-year-old female, Beauregard Parish, heat-related illness
  • 65-year-old male, Rapides Parish, heat-related illness
  • 50-year-old male, Rapides Parish, heat-related illness
  • 70-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 41-year-old male, Vernon Parish, heat-related illness
  • 47-year-old male, Vernon Parish, heat-related illness
  • 59-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, head injury during storm cleanup
  • 52-year-old male, Grant Parish, heat-related illness
  • 25-year-old male, Natchitoches Parish, electrocution

In an effort to ensure the most accurate reporting of deaths that are attributable to Hurricane Laura, the Louisiana Department of Health will only report a death after it has been confirmed as storm-related by the parish coroner. 

Electrical hazards

Avoid electrical hazards both in your home and elsewhere:

  • Never touch a fallen power line. Call the power company to report fallen power lines.
  • Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup and other activities.
  • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.
  • If a power line falls across your car while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local utility company and emergency services. Do not allow anyone other than emergency personnel to approach your vehicle.
  • If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not enter standing water to access the main power switch. Call an electrician to turn it off.
  • Never turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician. All electrical equipment and appliances must be completely dry before returning them to service. Have a certified electrician check these items if there is any question.
  • If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
  • Consult your utility company about using electrical equipment, including power generators. Do not connect generators to your home’s electrical circuits without the approved, automatic-interrupt devices. If a generator is on line when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard and it may endanger line workers helping to restore power in your area.

If you believe someone has had electric shock take the following steps:

  • Look first. Don’t touch. The person may still be in contact with the electrical source. Touching the person may pass the current through you.
  • Call or have someone else call 911 or emergency medical help.
  • Turn off the source of electricity if possible. If not, move the source away from you and the affected person using a non-conducting object made of cardboard, plastic or wood.
  • Once the person is free of the source of electricity, check the person’s breathing and pulse. If either has stopped or seems dangerously slow or shallow, begin CPR immediately.
  • If the person is faint or pale or shows other signs of shock, lay him or her down with the head slightly lower than the trunk of the body and the legs elevated.

Don’t touch burns, break blisters or remove burned clothing. Electrical shock may cause burns inside the body, so be sure the person is taken to a doctor.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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