Hurricane Laura took dead aim on Lake Charles, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 28. In its direct path was the Isle of Capri riverboat casino. The gaming venue has been described as “wrecked” in the aftermath of the storm. The entire Lake Charles area has been described as “severely damaged.” Located near the Texas border, this whole region of Louisiana clearly bore the brunt of this extremely dangerous storm.
How Did Hurricane Laura Take Its Toll On The Isle Of Capri Casino?
The first images captured were rather telling. The casino was unmoored during the height of the storm. It came to rest against a huge concrete piling of the Interstate 10 bridge crossing the Calcasieu River. The vessel has become stuck in the bridge’s foundation. One description captured on Twitter was simply “incredible and terrifying.”
In other area damage, it was reported that the roof of a Golden Nugget Lake Charles tower was disintegrating.
As of the Wednesday before the storm, area casinos had been ordered to shutter. It was then discovered that hundreds of refinery workers and first responders were sheltered in the Golden Nugget. There were no reports of anyone being aboard the Isle of Capri when it lost its mooring. Yet, that was not confirmed at the time.
The damage reports from Lake Charles conveyed the devastation.
Office windows downtown were completely blown out. The Washington Post issue reports of downed power lines on many city streets. Rubble and other debris made most streets unpassable immediately after the storm came ashore.
The good news was no reported fatalities in the city itself. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards did announce the death of a 14-year old girl north of Lake Charles. This was in the Leesville area.
The hurricane made landfall early Thursday morning on the 28th. It had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph to reach Category 4 status. This was according to the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center. The storm had weakened slightly to a Category 3 hurricane when it reached Lake Charles.
The Isle of Capri Casino is owned by Caesars Entertainment. It was originally part of Eldorado Resorts prior to a recent stock merger. Earlier this year, it received approval to relocate onto dry land.
A MUST READ: How Many Casinos Are There In Louisiana?
New gaming regulations in Louisiana impacted the fate of 15 current riverboat casinos.
Isle of Capri was the first one on the list gaining approval to move. This suggests that the boat’s days were already numbered before Laura made the decision rather obvious.
Following the coronavirus casino shutdown in mid-March, Golden Nugget Lake Charles was one of the first casinos to reopen. Tilman Fertitta owns five Golden Nugget casinos.
His Lake Charles location is the highest grossing casino in the state from a revenue standpoint. That number stood at $154.5 million in 2019. Penn National Gaming’s L’Auberge riverboat in Lake Charles was second on the list at $150.1 million.