Laura will land as a category 4 hurricane: hundreds of thousands of people evacuated
Hurricane Laura continues to intensify. As of Wednesday morning, August 26, it is moving over the central Gulf of Mexico. This is the first major hurricane of 2020 and could have enormous consequences. Writes about it Orlando Sentinel.
Laura, which escalated into a Category 2 hurricane overnight, is forecast to cause a life-threatening storm surge, high winds and flash floods in east Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday evening, Aug. 26, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
“Laura is projected to be a Category 4 hurricane today and is expected to be a major hurricane on land. After Laura comes ashore, rapid relaxation is expected, ”the National Hurricane Center said.
Meanwhile, the storm, formerly known as Tropical Storm Marco, disintegrated on Tuesday morning, Aug. 25, and turned into a residual low before the center of the hurricane stopped tracking it.
As of 05:00 on Aug 26, Laura was a severe Category 2 hurricane with a sustained 110 mph (177 km per hour) wind heading northwest at 15 mph (24 km per hour) and was in approximately 315 miles (506 km) southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hurricane force winds extend 70 miles (112 km), and tropical storm force winds extend 175 miles (281 km).
Evacuation of residents
More than 385 residents have been evacuated from the Texas cities of Beaumont, Galveston and Port Arthur, and more residents have been ordered to evacuate from lowlands in southwest Louisiana, where weather forecasters say more than 000 feet (13 m) of storm surge could flood entire cities.
Laura is expected to have little impact on Florida.
Hurricane #Laura is expected to bring 9+ feet of storm surge to parts of #Louisiana and #Texas... If you're told to evacuate, you need to do so before it's too late. #HurricaneLaura pic.twitter.com/OoFcSeRWY9
- CStore News. Noticias de CStore (@CStoreNews_) August 25
Freeport and San Luis Pass (TX) also received storm surge warnings. Storm surge warning operates from the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, as well as Pontchartrain, Morepas and Bourne.
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Forecasters said flooding could occur over 450 miles (724 km) of coastline from Texas to the Mississippi. On top of that, some parts of Louisiana can receive up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain, said National Weather Service meteorologist Donald Jones.
Houston, Texas, has asked residents to prepare supplies in case they are left without electricity for several days or have to evacuate their homes on the coast. Some residents of the area are still recovering from the devastating Hurricane Harvey three years ago.
- Crush2525 (@ Crush255) August 22
Emergencies have been declared in Louisiana and Mississippi. Shelters for evacuees were opened.
The American Red Cross has deployed 700 workers and humanitarian aid, writes CNN.
“We urge people on the Gulf Coast to get ready now; listen to the advice of local authorities and evacuate immediately if asked, ”said Greta Gustafson of the Red Cross.
Large and extremely dangerous hurricane
According to Hennen, Laura's intensity is likely to fluctuate throughout Wednesday.
"Now that Laura's eye is forming, there is no doubt that this will be a large and extremely dangerous hurricane for eastern Texas and Louisiana," Eric Blake, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, tweeted.
Another view of the dramatic shelf cloud associated with a rain band from #Laura and #Marco's remnants rolling into @CityofGulfport. #mswx #tropics @WLOX @NWSNewOrleans @spann pic.twitter.com/0o6puJrMIq
- Eric Jeansonne (@Weatheric) August 26
The most serious storm threats are storm surge, precipitation and hurricane force.
Rainfall can cause large-scale flooding as well as overflow of small streams, Blake said, causing minor to moderate flooding in the river.
3 years after Harvey and 15 years after Katrina
Laura showed up just days before August 29, the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed about 1800 people in 2005. And on September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita hit southwest Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane.
Houston is the largest city in the region. He is especially vulnerable to floods and can be hit hard by Laura. A city filled with concrete has a notoriously poor drainage system and a tendency to flood.
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Now southwest Louisiana is facing the threat of a violent hurricane again.
“In 2005, Rita and I were unlucky,” ex-mayor Sulfura said. “When something like this happens, I think when people come back, it brings up a lot of bad memories.”
Devastating flooding in the Dominican Republic 🇩🇴
- Scott From Scotland (@ScottDuncanWX) August 23
Jeremy Burke of Waveland, Mississippi, a coastal city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2015, believes that "the biggest threat here is storm surge." When Katrina struck, “the wind caused damage, but the nail in the coffin was driven by a surge,” Burke said.
Many of Waveland's residents stayed home until Laura made landfall, Burke said, but their cars and trucks are fueled with gas in case the outlook gets more dire.
Deaths in the Caribbean
Laura also hit Cuba, killing nearly two dozen people on the island of Hispaniola, including 20 in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic, where the hurricane caused a power outage and severe flooding. It is reported that among the dead was a 10-year-old girl whose house was knocked down by a tree, a mother and a small child were crushed by a collapsed wall.
The President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, said that a corporal was killed during rescue operations in the province of Pedernales.
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