Lake Charles, Louisiana, after Laura

Those in the Gulf South are realistic about hurricanes.

Three days after Laura hit, cleanup is well underway. South Lake Charles.

Groves of trees all over town are crushed.

West Prien Lake Road.

Tobacco Plus gas station, near the casinos.

Vape shop, Ryan Street.

Utility vehicles staged in supermarket lot near McNeese State University.

Emmanuel Baptist Church, Common Street.

Guardsman outside Calcasieu Parish Public Defender’s Office, downtown Lake Charles.

Plinth that used to hold the Confederate statue on the courthouse lawn.

Capital One Tower missing windows, downtown Lake Charles on the lakefront.

Former Calcasieu National Bank building, downtown Lake Charles.



Read more by John Griswold here.

John Griswold

John Griswold is a staff writer at The Common Reader. His most recent book is a collection of essays, The Age of Clear Profit: Essays on Home and the Narrow Road (UGA Press 2022). His previous collection was Pirates You Don’t Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life. He has also published a novel, A Democracy of Ghosts, and a narrative nonfiction book, Herrin: The Brief History of an Infamous American City. He was the founding Series Editor of Crux, a literary nonfiction book series at University of Georgia Press. His work has been included and listed as notable in Best American anthologies.