Louisiana Casinos Reopen After Two Destructive Hurricanes Rake the Region

Posted on: October 15, 2020, 03:13h. 

Last updated on: October 15, 2020, 03:44h.

After two hurricanes in six weeks shredded southwestern Louisiana, most casinos in the area are open again.

The Golden Nugget hotel-casino in Lake Charles is among the resorts that have reopened this week in Louisiana. Several Bayou State casinos were closed as Hurricane Delta approached the Gulf Coast. (Image: KPLC-TV)

In Lake Charles, the Golden Nugget and L’Auberge hotel-casinos began operating again this week. The Delta Downs Racetrack, Casino and Hotel in Vinton also reopened. Delta Downs is about 27 miles west of Lake Charles, near the Texas border.

By Thursday, the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles was the only casino in the Bayou State still closed, said Lt. Robert Fontenot of the Louisiana State Police.

The rest of the casinos in Louisiana have reopened, and no one had significant damage to report,” Fontenot told Casino.org on Thursday.

As Hurricane Delta roared up the Gulf of Mexico last week, all four Lake Charles-area hotel-casinos were closed as a precaution. Casinos in Baton Rouge and New Orleans also closed as the hurricane approached.

On Oct. 9, Hurricane Delta barreled ashore in southwestern Louisiana with top winds of 100 mph. The Category 2 storm made landfall only about 12 miles east of where an even more powerful hurricane struck six weeks earlier. Both storms slammed into Lake Charles with strong winds and heavy rainfall.

During Hurricane Delta, at least four people were killed in the region, authorities said.

Deadly Force

When Hurricane Delta raked the Lake Charles area, the city of 78,000 people still was reeling from the storm in August.

Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of 150 mph, ripped into Lake Charles and surrounding areas on Aug. 27, killing more than 30 people in the region. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said it was the most powerful hurricane ever to hit Louisiana.

During Hurricane Laura, the unoccupied Isle of Capri riverboat casino came unmoored in Lake Charles and struck a bridge. No one was injured. A tugboat returned the floating casino to its original location. The Isle of Capri was not structurally damaged but required repairs to its motor.

Hurricane Laura also damaged the other casinos in the Lake Charles area, forcing them to close temporarily. They were back in operation by the time Hurricane Delta hit.

Historic Hurricane Season

Other states besides Louisiana have suffered during this record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Delta was the 10th named hurricane to strike the mainland United States this season, a record. The previous record was set at nine in 1916.

On Sept. 16, Hurricane Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm at Gulf Shores, Alabama, just south of Mobile. With wind speeds of 105 mph, the storm was responsible for at least two deaths, authorities said.

Two riverboat casinos undergoing repairs at Bayou La Batre, Alabama, broke loose from their moorings during the storm. The unoccupied riverboats struck a dock. No one was injured.

Just before Hurricane Sally hit, 12 casinos along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast were closed as a precaution. The casinos reopened a short time later with no reported damage.