06/10/2022

Hurricane Laura made landfall in the southern US state of Louisiana and the category 4 storm prompted warnings of “unsurvivable” ocean surges and evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents.

Hurricane Laura made landfall in the southern US state of Louisiana and the category 4 storm prompted warnings of “unsurvivable” ocean surges and evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said “extremely dangerous” Laura would bring winds of 240km/h and flash flooding to Louisiana.
Television images showed heavy rain lashing the coastal city of Lake Charles shortly after the NHC said the eye of the storm made landfall at around 1am local time (7am Irish time).
Earlier the NHC warned Hurricane Laura could pummel the Louisiana and Texas coasts with an “unsurvivable storm surge” of up to 6m, and that tornadoes could form at the southern edges of the weather system.
“Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” it said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned Laura’s power was “unprecedented” and urged citizens to “get out of harm’s way.”
“Your property can be replaced,” Mr Abbott said, “your life cannot.”
Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on the third night of the Republican convention, urged people in the storm’s path to “heed state and local authorities”.
As #HurricaneLaura comes ashore the @TexasGuard is ready.
Texas Task Forces 1 & 2 @txtf1 and the Texas Parks & Wildlife @TPWDnews are prepared for water rescues.
Texas Department of Public Safety @TxDPS will patrol the area to assist local law enforcement.
Then, we rebuild. https://t.co/ScnIbe2tBf
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 27, 2020
The National Guard said it had mobilised more than 1,000 members in Texas to help with hurricane response, including 20 aircraft and more than 15 shelter teams.
Among the cities potentially in the path of the eye of the storm and under mandatory evacuation orders are Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, which suffered heavy damage from Hurricane Harvey three years ago.
Coronavirus loomed over preparations, with Angela Jouett, director of evacuation operations in Lake Charles, saying authorities were ensuring that evacuees use hand sanitiser, get their temperatures taken and maintain a distance of 2m.
Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards tweeted that portions of I-10, the interstate highway that connects all of the southern United States, were closed ahead of Laura’s arrival.
He urged those evacuating to head north in order to “detour the closure and avoid undrivable conditions.”
In a post on its Facebook page, the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana told people who chose not to evacuate that rescue services would not begin until after the storm passes and said: “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.”
In New Orleans, devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the historic French Quarter was empty of tourists.
Sandbags were piled up in front of the doorways of colonial-style buildings and windows were boarded up with plywood. 
The city remains traumatised from Katrina, which made landfall as a Category 3 storm, flooding 80% of the city and killing more than 1,800 people.
Laura earlier caused flooding in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, killing at least 25 people.
The Atlantic storm season, which runs through November, could be one of the busiest ever this year, with the NHC predicting as many as 25 named storms. Laura is the 12th so far.