Hurricane Laura causes severe damage and floods as it punishes Louisiana

LAFITTE: Storm surge from Hurricane Laura, which made landfall overnight, causes some high water along Jean Lafitte Blvd. in Lafitte, La. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Sand bag walls are keeping water surge contained but winds from the tail of the storm are still expected to cause more storm surge. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

By 0700 hours, sustained winds were 100 mph, and the storm had dropped to a Category 2 hurricane. Even thou Laura was expected to weaken rapidly into a tropical storm by this afternoon, forecasters continued to warn of flooding danger.

LOUISIANA United States. (Agencies) – Hurricane Laura exploded ashore on Texas and Louisiana’s border as a Category 4 storm early Thursday, tearing down buildings, severing power lines, and clogging streets with debris as a dangerous storm surge trailed behind. Currently, more than half a million people are without power.

Laura’s eye made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, at about 1 a.m. CDT before plowing a path of destruction north toward Arkansas, with sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm weakened and curl east through Kentucky and Tennessee by today, Friday. 

By 0700 hours, sustained winds were 100 mph, and the storm had dropped to a Category 2 hurricane. Even thou Laura was expected to weaken rapidly into a tropical storm by this afternoon, forecasters continued to warn of flooding danger.

The National Hurricane Center said in its update that “damaging winds and flooding rainfall” were spreading over western and central Louisiana as the storm moves inland. “Life-threatening storm surge continues along much of the Louisiana coastline,” forecasters added.

Latest developments:

  • At least one person has died after Hurricane Laura: A 14-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on her house in Leesville, Louisiana.
  • Laura is forecast to move north across western and northern Louisiana on Thursday as it makes its way toward Arkansas this evening.
  • From Johnson Bayou to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, including Calcasieu Lake, storm surge up from 15 to 20 feet is expected. Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Intracoastal City could see storm surge from 10 to 15 feet.
  • The National Hurricane Center says the storm surge could reach as far as 40 miles inland and floodwaters may not fully recede for several days
  • Parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, and western Mississippi could see tornadoes Thursday, too.
  • The Cajun Navy Relief & Rescue, the legendary nonprofit flotilla of privately owned boats used to assist flooding victims, was gearing up for rescues.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas did not report fatalities in the initial hours after the Laura struck but said emergency workers were still going through the storm’s ravages.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said southwestern Louisiana has suffered “extensive damage” overnight, and a 14-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on her house.

Hurricane Laura pounded southeast Texas for several hours overnight but didn’t seem to deliver the same devastation level as it happened in Louisiana. 

The Yucatan Times
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