HURRICANE LAURA MADE LANDFALL NEAR LAKE CHARLES IN LOUISIANA
Hurricane Laura made landfall near Lake Charles in Louisiana with winds of 150 mph and is moving inland as an extremely dangerous category 4 storm before weakening.
Laura is also an inland flood risk as far north and east as Arkansas and the Ohio and Tennessee valleys
Laura’s maximum sustained winds jumped from 75 mph to 140 mph in the 24 hours ending 1 p.m. CDT Wednesday. That increase in maximum sustained winds easily meets the definition of rapid intensification in a hurricane.
Hurricane conditions are ongoing in southwestern Louisiana.
More than 9 feet of storm surge is inundating the coast near Cameron, Louisiana. A water level station at Eugene Island, Louisiana reported about 3.2 feet of inundation above ground level early Wednesday afternoon and a wind gust of 45 mph.
A 127 mph wind gust was measured early Thursday morning at Calcasieu Pass, Louisiana and a sustained wind of 93 mph was recently measured in Cameron, Louisiana.
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch for parts of Louisiana and southeastern Texas. The watch area includes Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Charles and Beaumont.
Laura weakened further Thursday morning and is now a Category 2 hurricane with winds up to 110 mph. Hurricane conditions are spreading farther inland across southwestern Louisiana.
Nearly half of the oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico – almost 300 – were evacuated by Wednesday, along with most of the offshore rigs. Producers shut in 84 percent of the oil produced in the region, taking about 1.6 million barrels per day off the market. The gulf region usually produces about 15 percent of the oil in the US. Producers also shut in about 61 percent of the natural gas produced in the gulf.
(Source: Weather Channel – Image: NASA)
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