Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


Laura carves destructive path through Louisiana

Hurricane Laura slams Louisiana, forecaster warns of 'unsurvivable' wall of water Hurricane Laura slams Louisiana coast with fierce winds and surging seas
Bennie Garza | 30 August, 2020, 03:54

"This has the potential to be the strongest hurricane to hit since Hurricane Rita", Edwards said, referring to the category five hurricane that hit in 2005.

The huge size of the unsafe hurricane was captured in a set of dramatic images taken by American astronaut Chris Cassidy aboard the International Space Station 250 miles above Earth on Wednesday.

At about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Laura to a Category 4 storm, with top sustained winds now blowing at 140 miles per hour. At its time of landfall, Katrina was the fourth-strongest hurricane to touch the American mainland.

Several years back, British astronaut Tim Peake revealed the camera kit that allows the space station crew to capture their wonderful images of Earth.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared an emergency ahead of Laura and set aside $250,000 for the state to prepare for the hurricane's impact in his state.

She evacuated from Lake Charles after hearing that it could take a direct hit.

The storm was predicted to reach hurricane strength by Tuesday then strengthen further before hitting the US Gulf Coast by Wednesday night.

Bucky Millet, 78, of Lake Arthur, Louisiana, considered evacuating but decided because of the coronavirus to ride out the storm with family.

On early Thursday morning, NOAA's Coastal Inundation Dashboard showed storm surge warnings all across Louisiana's shoreline.

The National Weather Service said the storm surge, possibly higher than a two-storey house, could be "unsurvivable", acknowledging that as an unusually dire warning.

Although New Orleans initially believed it had been spared the worst, the hurricane's record storm surge overwhelmed levees and other flood control measures, eventually submerging 80% of the city.

Laura was also expected to spawn tornadoes on Thursday over Louisiana, far southeastern Texas and southwestern MS and drop 5 to 10 inches (127 to 254 mm) of rain over the region, the NHC said.

Dick Gremillion, the emergency director in Calcasieu Parish, said hours after landfall that they hadn't been able to get out and look for damage. "We were on top of each other, just holding each other and crying", Agosto said.

It's centered about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north-northwest of Lake Charles and moving north at 15 mph (24 kph).

There were 464,813 customers without power in Louisiana on Friday, according to the site Poweroutage.us.

The clean-up has begun from Hurricane Laura as officials along the Louisiana coast warn returning residents they will face weeks without power or water.

The damage was observed in Lake Charles, which is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of where the storm made landfall in Cameron early Thursday. An unusual tropical storm warning was issued as far north as Little Rock, where forecasters expected gusts of 50 miles per hour (80 kph) and a deluge of rain through Friday.

Other videos from the area show road signs bending, trees shaking violently and a large recreational vehicle being blown over.

Officers went door-to-door in Cameron Parish urging the roughly 7,000 residents to get out before Laura struck, and they all used social media and phone calls to warn people of the danger.

Laura caused less mayhem than forecasts predicted - but officials said it remained a risky storm and that it would take days to assess the damage.

More than 290,000 homes and businesses were without power in Texas and Louisiana, as near-constant lightning provided the only light for some. Water outages remained a major problem in evacuated facilities, the Louisiana Department of Health said. They visit food banks and use disability checks and retirement saving to get by.

Guillory said he hopes those stranded can be rescued later Thursday, but blocked roads, downed power lines and flooding could complicate the process.

Laura's howling winds leveled buildings across a wide swath of the state and a wall of water that was 15 feet (4.6 m) high crashed into tiny Cameron, Louisiana, where the hurricane made landfall around 1 a.m.

Laura comes on the heels of Tropical Storm Marco, which weakened sooner than expected and made landfall on Monday in Louisiana.

The hurricane's top wind speed of 150mph (241kph) put it among the most powerful systems on record in the US. A sudden storm surge knocked over cameras meant to capture the hurricane's effects.

It's taking aim at the USA coast just days before the August 29 anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which breached the levees in New Orleans, flattened much of the MS coast and killed as many as 1,800 people in 2005.

A lower-than-expected storm surge also helped save lives.

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