Two men in their 40s died in Louisiana from what health officials said was heat-related illness while clearing debris from Hurricane Laura, bringing the number of deaths blamed on the storm in the state to at 22.
The Louisiana Department of Health said Friday that the men, 41 and 47, died in Vernon Parish, which is in the western part of the state north of Lake Charles. The area suffered major damage in the storm that made landfall near Cameron early Aug. 27.
Five deaths blamed on the storm have also been reported in Texas, bringing the total number of deaths linked to the hurricane or its aftermath to 27.
Six of Louisiana’s 22 deaths have been classified by the health department as heat-related.
The storm knocked out power to more than 600,000 customers, and as of Friday, more than 183,000 remained without, according to the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s website.
Other deaths in Louisiana and Texas were blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.
On Thursday, a man in Louisiana who had been in the hospital for several days suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning died. He was the fifth person in a single home to die from that, Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
“It’s important to remember that just because the storm passed, that doesn’t mean that the threat has passed,” Edwards said.
Heat indexes in Louisiana have averaged more than 100 degrees all week, the governor said. Heat advisories covered the western and southwestern parts of the state Friday, according to the National Weather Service.