If the hurricane maintains maximum sustained wind speeds of 150 miles per hour (240km/h) then it would be the worst storm that's ever hit the U.S.
Hurricane Laura, a category four storm, is approaching Texas and Louisiana. It is expected to hit the areas with an "unsurvivable" storm surge, according to National Hurricane Center, as reported by ABC News.
The NHS said, "Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes."
They continued, "This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline. Only a few hours remain to protect life and property and all actions should be rushed to completion."
"Catastrophic wind damage" is expected to be seen in many parts of Texas and western Louisiana, especially in areas within the storm's eyewall. Residents of both these areas have been warned about the spread of "widespread damaging wind gusts."
The storm is approaching with the maximum sustained wind speeds of 150 miles per hour (240km/h) and if it maintains the speed, it is feared that it could be the strongest storm that has ever hit the US south coast, reported BBC.
According to the last update at 23:00 local time (04:00 GMT), the center of the hurricane was at 65 miles (105km) at the southeast of Port Arthur, Texas. Half a million residents of Texas and Louisiana have been asked to evacuate the area keeping their safety in mind.
The 300 AM CDT Update for Hurricane #Laura: Eyewall of Laura pushing inland across southwestern Louisiana. Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding ongoing. More on Laura at https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb or local weather https://t.co/SiZo8ozBbn pic.twitter.com/W94oiK4i9j— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 27, 2020
Earlier this week, Laura and another storm Marco ravaged the Caribbean with high winds and rough sea which resulted in the deaths of at least 9 in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic. On August 22, President Donald Trump declared a state of disaster in the territory on Saturday, reported BBC. On August 24, Marco hit Louisiana which resulted in strong winds and heavy rains. Initially, both the storms were expected to hit within 48 hours of each other but Marco turned out to be a tropical storm.
On the other hand, Laura transformed from a category three to a category four in just 24 hours. To everyone's distress, it is now close to becoming a category five storm with maximum sustained winds of 158mph (254km/h).
Since the #GOESEast 🛰️ watched #HurricaneLaura make landfall at 1 a.m. EDT as a Category-4 storm, #Laura has become a Category-2 as it is moves over land. Damaging winds and widespread flash flooding are expected to continue.— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 27, 2020
Stay up-to-date: https://t.co/1L8q1zg4eW pic.twitter.com/B4xPOzQSSf
The sheriffs of Louisiana are being very frank about the devastating outcomes that this storm can bring to everyone. Louisiana's Vermilion Parish's sheriff's office posted a warning on Facebook for those who're not planning to evacuate. It read, "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."
"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 a ziplock bag in your pocket," it continued. "Praying that it does not come to this!" concluded the sheriff's office.
Vermilion Parish and Cameron Parish are expected to experience the worst of the storm since it lies on the Gulf Coast in the southwest corner of the Bayou State. Police have ordered a curfew starting from 9 p.m local time to 5 a.m along with mandatory evacuation.
Kermit (#NOAA42) flew through Hurricane #Laura FIVE times today. Here's a time lapse of our second pass up through the beginning for our third.— Tropical Nick Underwood (@TheAstroNick) August 26, 2020
A pass in and out of a hurricane is called a "penetration" or a "penny". Five pennies today takes my career total to 61.#FlyNOAA pic.twitter.com/IqajXPbosQ
Disclaimer: This is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information about Hurricane Laura is swiftly changing, and WomenWorking 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.