(NBC News)  A harsh reality is setting in as Gulf Coast residents impacted by Hurricane Laura brace for a long recovery.

Hundreds of thousands are without power, and sweltering heat is making matters worse.

“Across Louisana, but particularly in the effected communities, the heat index is going to be between 105 and 108, and this is going to extend for the next few days,” Governor John Bel Edwards warned Monday.

The infrastructure is so damaged it could take months before power is fully restored.

Vital water lines are also severely damaged.

Communities are pulling together with food drives, and the National Guard is also providing aid.

More than 50,000 people have already applied for FEMA assistance.

Fourteen deaths are being blamed on the storm.  Eight of those deaths were the result of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the incorrect use of generators.  

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