Cynthia Miller Leesville Louisiana 14 year old teen i’d as first Hurricane Laura fatality. Was riding out storm in parent’s room – rescuers blocked for five hours getting to girl.
A 14 year old Louisiana girl has been confirmed as the first fatally of Hurricane Laura who died when a tree fell on her parents’ bedroom as she rode out the storm with them and her two sisters.
Cynthia Miller‘s death follows the Category 4 hurricane, among the strongest to ever hit the US, causing havoc, tearing apart the family’s Leesville home as they tried to shelter inside.
Miller’s hometown Leesville was not under an evacuation order and the teen’s parents had believed that they would be safe.
The damage caused by the storm left the Miller family unassailable for five hours as the rescue effort from the sheriff’s office was forced to travel on foot and use chainsaws to cut apart trees that were blocking the roads.
At least six people died in the US as the storm ripped through Louisiana and Texas on Thursday.
Other fatalities included a 68-year-old man who also died when trees fell on his home in Louisiana, as well as a 24-year-old man who died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator inside his residence.
Another man drowned in a boat that sank during the storm, authorities said.
It is feared that more fatalities may be discovered as rescue teams battle to clear the billions of dollars worth of damage caused by historic 150mph winds.
Miller was the first reported death Thursday when she was killed in the early hours of the morning after being trapped underneath a fallen tree.
Cynthia’s family said she had been doing what she loved the most, reading, when the tree crashed down on top of them.
‘It was scary, dark. It was terrifying. There was rain wind everywhere. It was huge … We went to ride out the storm in our parents’ room. Everyone was sitting in there and the tree — it came down,’ her sister Nellie told CBS News.
‘I walked and tried to find Cindy cause she wasn’t talking. And I tried to wake her up and she wouldn’t wake up,’ she added.
‘She was going to do something big,’
Help remained unavailable as Cindy was pinned down by the tree and the sheriff’s office were forced to travel by foot along the two-mile stretch of road covered in trees that led up to their home.
Images of the aftermath show the enormous damage to the house as the family tried to come to terms with their loss.
‘She was going to do something big,’ her sister said of Cynthia.
‘She was really smart. She wanted to go to Harvard and be a microbiologist.’
Laura weakened to a Tropical Depression by Friday morning but fears of further twisters and flooding remained after a tornado apparently tore through a church and homes in Arkansas Thursday night.
More than 580,000 evacuated from the Gulf Coast as authorities warned of the dangers of the storm earlier in the week.
Hurricane Laura blamed for 14 deaths in the US
The hurricane’s top wind speed of 150mph put it among the strongest systems on record in the U.S.
More than 750,000 homes and businesses were without power in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas in the storm’s wake, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility reports as of Friday morning.
The National Weather Service reported that the storm was losing its tropical characteristics early that morning but that a flood threat continued.
Up to 5 inches of rain were expected across the Tennessee Valley region before the system closed in on the Mid-Atlantic states by Saturday.
To date the Category 4 storm has been blamed for 14 deaths in the US.
On Saturday, Laura is expected to produce 1 to 2 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 3 inches across portions of the central and southern Appalachians, and the Mid-Atlantic States before strengthening again slightly before it moves into the northwest Atlantic.