August 27, 2020 at 7:37 AM EDT
Hurricane Laura’s ferocious winds, storm surge could be ‘unsurvivable’ alongside Texas, Louisiana coast
LAKE CHARLES, La. — Hurricane Laura, a monster of a storm that picked up ferocious intensity as it traversed the heat waters of the Gulf of Mexico, ongoing to threaten a massive swath of Texas and Louisiana with what authorities explained could be “unsurvivable” flooding and catastrophic winds as it moved inland Thursday and started to weaken.
Laura strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane before it produced landfall in Louisiana, its fearsome eyewall qualified on the low-lying wetlands that span the border amongst Texas and Louisiana. People fled Lake Charles and Port Arthur, Tex., as the Countrywide Climate Services predicted significant tide combined with a most likely historic storm surge could thrust risky waters as much as 40 miles inland in the early hrs of Thursday.
The storm was downgraded to a Classification 2 hurricane Thursday early morning but however had sustained winds higher than 100 mph and threatened flooding together its path northward.
These communities have witnessed hurricanes ahead of, but possibly practically nothing like Laura, which experienced sustained winds of far more than 150 mph while out about the h2o, with gusts of up to 175 mph. That form of energy can uproot trees and toss them like twigs or splinter and flatten properties — as Hurricane Michael did when it likewise intensified fast about the gulf and slammed into Mexico Beach, Fla., two decades back, about 500 miles east of here.
Authorities in this coastal city of 78,000 had been bracing for some of the worst storm surge flooding in recorded record, with the winds and condition of the shoreline combining to generate a wall of drinking water nicely past the shore. Expectations are that the Calcasieu River and the lakes that sit north of the shoreline could crest at far more than 15 toes above ordinary. That in all probability would place substantially of Lake Charles underwater, so metropolis officers purchased a mandatory evacuation.
By Wednesday afternoon, most Lake Charles people who planned to get out had carried out so. Properties and houses were being boarded up across the area, and the streets of the city’s modest downtown have been desolate.
By Ashley Cusick, Maria Sacchetti, Marisa Iati and Andrew Freedman
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