Hurricane Laura has now weakened to a Category 2 storm.
Hurricane Laura is causing severe damages on the coast of Lousiana, according to NBC News. The category 4 storm with a maximum wind speed of 150mph made landfall at 1 AM near Cameron, Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center informed there was a surge in the storm and parts of the state were affected by extreme winds and flash flooding. The center also warned that if the "unsurvivable" storm would increase up to 15 feet, it could cause overwhelming damage in parts of the Gulf Coast.
WATCH: Extreme winds from Hurricane Laura are pounding the Lake Charles area in Louisiana pic.twitter.com/RAd5PJYJNP— BNO News (@BNONews) August 27, 2020
Authorities predicted that Laura would become one of the nine hurricanes to make landfall since 1851 if the speeds remain at 150 mph. The most recent hurricane to make landfall with the same or more speed as Laura was Hurricane Michael in 2018. "Hurricane Laura, because of its intensity, by far the strongest on record for this region, I think Laura's the new benchmark for this part of the United States," Josh Morgerman, a hurricane chaser to CNN.
"It's pitch black right now, there's no power or anything. All you hear is sounds, crashing and howling. Just can't imagine what this place is going to look like when the sun comes up," said Morgerman, according to CNN.
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, 2020
Fortunately, recent reports stated that Hurricane Laura which was initially a category 4 storm has now downgraded to a Category 2. However, the winds still have a speed of 110 mph.
The storms are now expected to continue to the southwestern regions of Louisiana in the early hours of the day. It is then predicted to continue northward across the state. On 27 August 2020, it is forecasted to pass over Arkansas and then reach mid-Mississippi Valley and mid-Atlantic states in the following days.
According to NBC News, before the landfall, the northern eyewall moved over southwest Louisiana's Cameron Parish. At least, 50000 people in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes lost electricity. More than 9,000 customers lost power in Jefferson County, Texas that is located near the Louisiana border. Meanwhile, more than 5000 lost electricity in Orange County.
Half a million residents in parts of Texas and Louisiana were asked to evacuate as the hurricane gained strength. Officials warned those that did not evacuate and stated that the rescue efforts would not start before the storm settles down.
"Those choosing to stay and face this very dangerous storm must understand that rescue efforts cannot and will not begin until after storm and surge has passed and it is safe to do so," the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office said in a statement, according to CNN.
He added, "Please evacuate, and if you choose to stay and we can't get to you, write your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put it in a Ziploc bag in your pocket. Praying that it does not come to this."
The National Hurricane Centre asked citizens to take appropriate measures to protect their lives. "Take action now to protect your life... in a reinforced interior room away from windows. Get under a table or other piece of sturdy furniture. Use mattresses, blankets or pillows to cover your head and body," said the centre.
According to BBC News, they stated, "Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching and move immediately to an interior room or shelter NOW!"
Meanwhile, damages have been reported at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles. “At this time, we know we have sustained damage to the facility, but are waiting until the morning to get a clear picture. Everyone is doing well. No evacuations during the storm," said Heather Hidalgo, a spokesperson for the hospital to CNN.
Disclaimer: This is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information about the Hurricane Laura is swiftly changing, and Lessons Learned In Life is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.