Louisiana auto dealers woke up to the devastation that Hurricane Laura left behind after making landfall early Thursday.
By Friday, there were reports of devastation across rural Louisiana along with other storm damage in Texas and Arkansas, but still little word on how many auto dealerships were impacted.
Laura hit Cameron, La., at 1 a.m. Thursday as a Category 4 hurricane. It was later downgraded and was listed as a tropical storm by late afternoon. Major damage was visible throughout southern Louisiana.
More than 910,000 homes and businesses were without power in three states, The Weather Channel and CNN reported. So far, at least six deaths have been attributed to the storm.
Will Green, president of Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, said in an email that many of his members closed their dealerships Wednesday and Thursday as the storm continues to make its way up the state.
"Many I have talked to have lost power and have damage to their buildings, especially those in the Lake Charles area," he said.
The Louisiana Independent Auto Dealers Association said it is still waiting to hear from dealers in the impacted areas. Typically, it takes dealer associations several hours to quantify the damage from such widespread disasters.
Attempts by Automotive News to reach several Lake Charles area dealerships were unsuccessful on Thursday.
Dealers earlier this week moved inventory and blocked windows in preparation for Hurricane Laura, which had sustained winds of 150 mph overnight.
Less than 50 miles north of landfall, Louisiana dealer Phillip Tarver hunkered down with 30 people in his Lake Charles Toyota dealership Wednesday night.
"The interior of our building held firm and strong, and we didn't ever feel threatened or in danger," he told Automotive News early Thursday.
Tarver was assessing damage to the store and his home this morning.
"The building took a good beating but it's still standing strong, it's amazing," he said.