Couple dies after running generator inside camper

Published 10:30 pm Saturday, February 20, 2021

Louisiana authorities on Saturday confirmed two more fatalities tied to severe winter conditions, bringing the total deaths in the state to five.

The Louisiana Department of Health said a 68-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning after a generator was placed in a camper where they sought shelter in Avoyelles Parish. The parish coroner confirmed the deaths as being storm-related, authorities said.

State officials continue to warn residents not to use portable generators indoors. This includes garages, carports, basements or crawl spaces lacking ventilation, the department said.

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“Gas powered generators produce carbon monoxide which is odorless and colorless. Inhaling carbon monoxide can very quickly lead to full incapacitation or death,” officials said.

Safely heating homes is just one issue Louisiana residents and others face after the severe weather. Both north and south Louisiana are dealing with water system challenges, too.

But Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter is hopeful water pressure should be restored by Sunday to most of his city. which was hit by two hurricanes last year.

“If people will turn off those dripping faucets, if we can identify those leaks … we believe in the next 72 hours we should have sufficient water pressure for the majority of the city,” Hunter said.

Meanwhile, more than 750 leaks since Thursday have been found and capped, Utilities Director for Lake Charles Keith Heise said. He urged residents, landlords and others to check on leaks and report them.

“Please, we’ve got to get those thousands of leaks under control,” Heise said.