The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed four new deaths related to Hurricane Laura on Friday, after a family of four in Calcasieu Parish died from carbon monoxide poisoning related to a generator.
That brings the death toll related to Hurricane Laura to 10. Five of those are from carbon monoxide poisoning related to the use of generators, LDH spokesperson Aly Neel said, which are used to power homes after electricity goes out.
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Governor John Bel Edwards confirmed the five carbon monoxide poisoning deaths during a press conference Friday. He also said four deaths were caused by falling trees and one person drowned in a boating accident.
Lake Charles Fire Chief Shawn Caldwell said the carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in Lake Charles were caused by the family placing their generator in an attached garage with a door to the home left partially open.
Caldwell said five people were in the home at the time, with all of them dying. Neel, however, said a coroner told the LDH that only four carbon monoxide poisoning deaths were reported to them.
"It's troubling, it's scary but I want to stress to you guys ... keep (a generator) away from your home," Caldwell said at press conference updating recovery in the Lake Charles area. "Don't put it anywhere near a covered awning, a porch or a garage. Chain it to a tree if there's one left in your yard, but don't let a generator cost you your life."
More details about the new deaths were not immediately available.
Other reported deaths due to Hurricane Laura include a 68-year-old Iota man who died after a roughly 50 to 60-foot pine tree fell on the bedroom he was occupying. A 14-year-old Leesville girl also died after a tree fell on her family home.
Edwards warned that the number of deaths from the Category 4 storm could grow as thousands of local, state and federal officials fan out to do search and rescue, survey damage and restore water and power to affected areas.
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