People have been asked to take precautionary measures. Shelters following pandemic guidelines have been opened.
Warnings have been issued by the authorities on the U.S. Gulf Coast after it is predicted that the tropical storm Laura would develop into one of the most powerful hurricanes, according to Reuters. The governor of Louisiana, John Edwards informed citizens that Laura could even rival one of the most powerful storms that hit the area, Hurricane Rita of 2005.
LATEST: NHC now forecasts Tropical Storm Laura will see "significant strengthening" over next 48 hours and approach the Texas-Louisiana coast as a near-Category 3 hurricane with 110 mph winds Wednesday night; hurricane watches issued. pic.twitter.com/1PqTagnjQn— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 25, 2020
Besides, the residents of Texas or Louisiana regions were asked to remain alert and prepare themselves for an expected landfall in the next 48 hours that could happen after Laura strengthens. Laura is thought to intensify into a category 3 hurricane with a wind speed of at least 111mph, according to CNN.
"From late Wednesday into Friday, Laura is expected to produce rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across portions of the west-central U.S. Gulf Coast near the Texas and Louisiana border north into portions of the lower Mississippi Valley," said the National the Hurricane Center, according to USA Today.
"This rainfall could cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams to overflow their banks, and the possibility of some minor river flooding across this region."
Tropical storm Marco sparks hurricane watch as it heads toward Louisiana, Laura also on its way https://t.co/ts75VA6vcy— USA TODAY SUN (@theusatodaysun) August 23, 2020
The hurricane watch extends from Port Bolivar, Texas, to the west of Morgan City, Louisiana while storm surge watch is extended over a larger area. From San Luis Pass, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi are under the storm watch.
"We’re only going to dodge the bullet so many times. And the current forecast for Laura has it focused intently on Louisiana," said the governor, according to USA Today.
Marco gains hurricane status, Gulf Coast braces for a possible double hit as Laura also looms— Mary McLane (@marymac169) August 23, 2020
John Bacon and Nate Chute, USA TODAY
LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – Tropical Storm Marco grew to hurricane strength Sunday, one of two powerful storms https://t.co/fhzD0py5kS
The news of storm Laura comes just after Tropical Storm Marco caused landfall in Louisiana on 24 August 2020 and weakened sooner than predicted. It was later stated that the storm would become a tropical depression.
"Heavy rain will continue along portions of the north-central Gulf Coast tonight as Marco will quickly weaken to a tropical depression," CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.
With the risk of the deadly storms, authorities have asked people to evacuate immediately. The mayor of Port Arthur, an oil town of 54,000 people in Texas made evacuation mandatory. They were given time till 6 AM on 25 August 2020 to leave their residences.
Meanwhile, authorities warned people to prepare for the worst possible outcomes. In a press conference, Lina Hidalgo, the chief executive of Harris County stated, "We’re leaving no stone unturned with our preparation. Now it is your turn." The Louisiana governor also begged people to take the necessary precautions for Laura and asked them to take advantage of the weakening of Marco.
Louisiana and Mississippi have declared state emergencies and shelters have opened up to accommodate the evacuated citizens. Keeping the pandemic guidelines in mind, the cots are set apart in addition to other measures at the shelters.
NEW 11 AM UPDATE: Tropical Storm #Laura is on the move and will likely intensify to #hurricane status within 24-hours. This storm is much larger compared to #Marco and could make landfall late Wednesday into early Thursday. #Louisiana #Texas #USA pic.twitter.com/hEnhPEOgKi— Steve Rudin ABC7 (@SteveRudinABC7) August 24, 2020
"We urge people along the Gulf Coast to get ready now; listen to the advice of local officials and evacuate immediately if asked," the Red Cross said in a statement, according to CNN.
"Make sure to include your pets as part of your emergency plan. Due to COVID-19, the Red Cross is unable to welcome pets into our shelters for everyone's safety. If you are evacuating with pets, please consider contacting the Red Rover organization: redrover.org," continued the statement.
Many have come forward during this crisis to help each other. Sarah Manowitz, who owns four bars in New Orleans' French Quarter not only prepped her house and filled her tub with water but also claimed that the community was going to get through the storm together.
"We’re all going to help each other share food, share whatever supplies,” said the woman, according to USA Today.
Disclaimer: This is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information about the Tropical Storm 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.