Saturday, September 24

Readers describe Prien Lake, Lake Street areas

With Hurricane Katrina easing but still continuing, brothers John, Bill and Mike Price made a two-hour drive west to Lake Charles this afternon to check on property. Their travels offer a glimpse of the damage in the all-but-empty city.

They say they saw lots of things scattered in the street, lots of trees down along Lake Street -- and lots of law enforcement officers.

Looking south down blocked-off Lake Street is long-focus view of fallen trees. In the other direction are a wrecked A.G. Edwards sign, a fallen 100-foot pine that impedes entrance to public housing, and a tree near the 18th street intersection.

The Prien Lake Mall area displays little damage from the exiting hurricane -- but two big trees and a fallen telephone pole crimped the Hazel Street access to Village Green Apartments. A few windows are blown out at the complex.

Along Prien Lake Road, the Tony's Pizza sign is down; the Diamond Shamrock canopy is flipped over, part of it extended into the road; gas pumps are on their side; a tree is crunched into the side of the Ruby Tuesday restaurant; and a dozen boat-towing government trucks are using Exxon as a rendezvous area. You can't go much past that, though, because several feet of water floods the foot of the Contraband Bayou overpass.

Staff reports

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