High-end Category 4 Hurricane Laura has made landfall on Louisiana
Hurricane Laura is set to become one of the most powerful hurricanes to make landfall in continental United States.
Early on Thursday, Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana and it is estimated that around 150 residents of Cameron Parish have chosen not to evacuate. CNN explains that ‘sustained winds are reaching 150 mph, making this a high-end Category 4 storm‘. What is more, the speed of the winds is only 7 mph below a Category 5, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
At 1 am CDT, Hurricane #Laura has made landfall in southwestern Louisiana near Cameron as a category 4 #hurricane. Maximum sustained winds were 150 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 938 mb. Potentially catastrophic impacts will continue. More: https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/GVWRnmGejy
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 27, 2020
Hurricane Laura is now stronger than Katrina and it is reported that it will be one of the 10 largest storms to ever hit continental U.S.
Daily Mail claims that according to the National Hurricane Center, Laura’s storm surge could ‘penetrate inland from between Freeport, Texas, and the mouth of the Mississippi River, and could raise water levels as high as 20ft in parts of Cameron Parish, Louisiana’. What is more, it is reported that forecasters warn the hurricane’s winds ‘could rip apart buildings, level trees and toss vehicles like toys’.
Over the coming hours, Laura is expected to move inland across southwestern Louisiana.
The hurricane is then expected to head north across the state before it moves over Arkansas and mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday; the center of the storm will then reach the mid-Atlantic states by Sunday, according to CNN’s latest reports. People are being urged to evacuate their homes as a Category 4 hurricane of this strength can result in uninhabitable areas for long periods of time and can even knock out power for weeks or months. As a result, those who choose not to evacuate, could be left cut off from help.
On Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned the following:
This already horrifying situation is made worse by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Daily Mail reports that the Coronavirus is taken into account during the evacuation process as shelters have opened with cots set further apart and evacuees have been ordered to wear masks and bring just one bag of personal belongings each.