ORANGE, Texas (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott says damage after Hurricane Laura could have been far worse after he got an aerial view of the area from Orange, Texas on Thursday.
Orange is the state’s easternmost city, which was in the path of where the hurricane made landfall around 1 a.m. as a Category 4 storm.
“We dodged a bullet,” said Gov. Abbott while joined by state and local officials during a joint press conference. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz were among those there.
“You saw more rooftops ripped off. You saw more shingles missing. You saw more trees down, steel framing wrapped around trees… roads still inundated, underwater, impassable,” recounted Abbott of the tour he got. “It could’ve been far worse.”
At last report, there had been more than 160,000 power outages throughout the entire Texas region, and Abbott noted that 8500 people were provided shelter across Texas. He also took the opportunity to say reports of one death in Seguin were unconfirmed, at last check.
“If we make it thru a Cat 4 hurricane… and have minimal or perhaps no loss of life, that is a miracle. It shows that prayers were answered, that preparations paid off,” said Abbott.
He also praised local officials for their evacuations orders. “The loss of life was minimized as well as damages,” Abbott said.
Meanwhile, at last report, the Louisiana governor confirmed the death of a 14-year-old girl and a sheriff said a 68-year-old man was killed, both after trees fell on each of their homes. “Our hearts are heavy for our neighbors in Louisiana,” said Sen. Ted Cruz.
While many wait for clearance to return, Gov. Abbott made it clear that evacuees should listen to local officials for the all clear to ensure safety. He also confirmed Interstate 10 has opened back up in Texas through to the border of Louisiana.