Laura is hitting the Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane with an “unsurvivable storm surge” expected in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“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,” the weather service said in a statement early Thursday. “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.”
Parts of eastern Texas and western Louisiana are forecast to see “catastrophic wind damage,” especially in places where the storm’s eyewall makes landfall early Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. Residents in affected areas are being instructed to evacuate and are urged to brace for “widespread damaging wind gusts” that will spread well inland across parts of those areas.