A volunteer disaster-relief worker surveyed the damage in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Friday, August 28, after Hurricane Laura battered the area on Thursday.
Chuck Balsamo recorded this footage and posted it to Instagram. The video shows blown-out windows, destroyed signs and awnings, trees and debris littered across the road, and smoke from a chemical fire in the distance.
Balsamo told Storyful he works with the Los Angeles Dream Center to provide relief to areas affected by natural disasters. He said he has done a lot of work nationwide after natural disasters the past few years.
Balsamo told Storyful the destruction in Lake Charles is so severe that he had not seen a single home that was not affected in some way.
“Shingles are gone, trees have fallen into houses, and homes are flooded,” he said.
Balsamo said he was happy with the amount of people who had evacuated from the city, but expressed concern that many homeowners had not returned.
“Unlike Hurricane Harvey, the homeowners have not returned yet, and it does not take long for mildew and other damages to properties to become irredeemable,” he said. “There are more vehicles here today than yesterday though.”
Balsamo said he’s always surprised by the attitudes people have after disasters.
“Everyone has a great attitude, no one complains,” he said. “You go up to people and ask them how they are, as they’re standing in front of their destroyed home, and they say they’re good, no loss of life.”
The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved inland on Thursday, August 27. Credit: Chuck Balsamo via Storyful