Hurricane Laura is projected to make landfall Wednesday night as a devastating category 4 storm along the Gulf Coast.
Texas and Louisiana’s coasts are preparing for Hurricane Laura, which is currently a category 3 storm but forecasted to grow. Currently, more than half a million coastal residents are ordered to evacuate the area. The National Hurricane Center says Laura is “rapidly intensifying” and could affect close to 20 million people.
The National Hurricane Center warns of extreme winds, flash flooding, and 15-foot storm surges along the coast. The storm surge is always most intense to the east of the eye of the hurricane. That would make Louisiana’s western coast suffer the worst impact with waves penetrating up to 30 miles inland.
Early Thursday, Galveston, Texas, could see winds reaching 40 to 50 mph with gusts up to 90 mph. Those winds will hit Lake Charles, Louisiana, around 6 a.m. Thursday. Places like Cameron, Louisiana could see as much as 10 to 15 inches of rain, however, cities like Houston or New Orleans could see an inch or less.
Laura’s path will first travel up through Louisiana and Arkansas on Friday, with winds at 30 to 35 mph. Afterwards, it will turn east as it hits Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia on Saturday before spilling out into the Atlantic Ocean. Winds could reach up to 40 mph in those areas.
Hurricane Laura has already swept through the Caribbean and has claimed the lives of 23 people. Furthermore, Laura has knocked out the power to over a million people, as well as triggered landslides that have cut off isolated towns.
Hurricane Laura Breaking Records
Hurricane Laura will break records for being the seventh named storm to hit the US before the end of August. The previous record was six storms in 1886 and 1916.
[H/T Weather Channel]