Laura thrashes Louisiana, nearby states face tornado threats

APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_59947 Buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Cameron, La.
Tropical_Weather_31644 Journalists examine damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_06145 Dozens of small fish are trapped inland after Hurricane Laura made landfall, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_84804 A stop sign lies on a muddy street left behind in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_14676 A journalist photographs damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_Texas_15260 A tattered American flag blows in the wind in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Port Arthur, Texas.
Tropical_Weather_65423 Journalists examine damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_29633 Journalists examine damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_Texas_87570 Port Arthur firefighters lower a U.S. flag at a post office at sunset as they wait for Hurricane Laura to make landfall, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Port Arthur, Texas.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Texas_37304 Benjamin Luna helps recover items from the children's wing of the First Pentecostal Church that was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Orange, Texas.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_52262 Journalists examine damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_Texas_94281 Port Arthur firefighters stare at a sea wall at sunset as they wait for Hurricane Laura to make landfall, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Port Arthur, Texas.
Tropical_Weather_42557 A building that was damaged overnight by Hurricane Laura stands in Lake Charles, La., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_14676 A journalist photographs damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_07452 The ferry terminal is closed due to Hurricane Laura Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 in Galveston, Texas.
Tropical_Weather_68028 A cemetery along Privateer Blvd. in Barataria, La. is inundated in water as water levels surge before Hurricane Laura, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 in Barataria, La.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_33421 A airplane hanger is destroyed Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, after Hurricane Laura went through the area near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_02320 Buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_50291 Buildings and homes are damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_65047 People survey the damage to their neighborhood on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_95492 Buildings and homes are damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_33238 Buildings are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_47346 Journalists examine damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_Texas_26694 Neftali Luna surveys damages to the children's wing of the First Pentecostal Church caused by Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Orange, Texas.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_61930 A person surveys the damage Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, after Hurricane Laura went through the area near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_54188 Elaine Rayburn sorts through her belongings at her home on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Texas_51072 Benjamin Luna helps recover items from the children's wing of the First Pentecostal Church that was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Orange, Texas.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_12912 Louisiana National Guard helps people who sought shelter out of a vehicle on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_65704 A chemical fire burns at a facility during the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_59947 Buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Cameron, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_91738 People survey the damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_11421 Dustin Amos walks near debris at a gas station on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., after Hurricane Laura moved through the state.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_81921 A chemical fire burns at a facility during the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Texas_06616 A tree is uprooted in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Sabine Pass, Texas.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_36355 Blown down trees and debris surround damaged homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_06109 Reginald Duhon prepares to work at his home on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., after Hurricane Laura moved through the state.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_44133 A truck and Interstate 10 sign is seen on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., after Hurricane Laura moved through the state.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_98520 An auto parts store employee surveys the damage to the facilty on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_93431 Debris surround damaged buildings in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_11975 Blown down trees and debris surround buildings in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_09865 A chemical fire burns at a facility during the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La.
Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_63296 Hollie Moore walks through debris at her home on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
APTOPIX_Tropical_Weather_Louisiana_20959 People survey the damage left in the wake of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Holly Beach, La.
(1/43)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., Laura barreled across Louisiana on Thursday, shearing off roofs and killing at least six people while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

A full assessment of the damage wrought by the Category 4 system was likely to take days, and the threat of additional damage loomed as new tornado warnings were issued after dark in Arkansas and Mississippi even as the storm weakened into a depression.

But despite a trail of demolished buildings, entire neighborhoods left in ruins and almost 900,000 homes and businesses without power, a sense of relief prevailed that Laura was not the annihilating menace forecasters had feared.

“It is clear that we did not sustain and suffer the absolute, catastrophic damage that we thought was likely,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “But we have sustained a tremendous amount of damage.”

He called Laura the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana, meaning it surpassed even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit in 2005. The storm toppled trees and damaged structures as far north as central Arkansas.

Laura’s top wind speed of 150 mph (241 kph) put it among the strongest systems on record in the U.S. Not until 11 hours after landfall did Laura finally lose hurricane status as it plowed north and thrashed Arkansas, and even by Thursday evening, it remained a tropical storm with winds of 40 mph (65 kph).

The storm crashed ashore in low-lying Louisiana and clobbered Lake Charles, an industrial and casino city of 80,000 people. On Broad Street, many buildings had partially collapsed. Windows were blown out, awnings ripped away and trees split in eerily misshapen ways. Police spotted a floating casino that came unmoored and hit a bridge. At the local airport, planes were overturned, some on top of each other. Part of a transmission tower toppled into the emptied-out studios of KPLC-TV, whose staff evacuated hours before landfall to broadcast from other locations.

In front of the courthouse was a Confederate statue that local officials had voted to keep in place just days earlier. After Laura, it was toppled.

“It looks like 1,000 tornadoes went through here. It’s just destruction everywhere,” said Brett Geymann, who rode out the storm with three family members in Moss Bluff, near Lake Charles. He described Laura passing over his house with the roar of a jet engine around 2 a.m.

“There are houses that are totally gone. They were there yesterday, but now gone,” he said.

Following Laura’s passage, a massive plume of smoke visible for miles began rising from a chemical plant. Police said the leak was at a facility run by Biolab, which manufactures chemicals used in household cleaners such as Comet bleach scrub and chlorine powder for pools.

Nearby residents were told to close their doors and windows and turn off air conditioners, and the fire smoldered into the night. State and federal aircraft headed into the skies over the coast to look for signs of any other industrial damage.

The fatalities included a 14-year-old girl and a 68-year-old man who died when trees fell on their homes in Louisiana, as well as a 24-year-old man who died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator inside his residence. Another man drowned in a boat that sank during the storm, authorities said.

No deaths had been confirmed in Texas, which Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said would amount to “a miracle.”

Chevellce Dunn considered herself among the fortunate after a night spent huddling on a sofa with her son, daughter and four nieces and nephews as winds rocked their home in Orange, Texas. Left without power in sweltering heat, she didn’t know when electricity might be restored.

“It ain’t going to be easy. As long as my kids are fine, I’m fine,” Dunn said.

President Donald Trump planned to visit the Gulf Coast this weekend to tour the damage.

More than 580,000 coastal residents evacuated under the shadow of a coronavirus pandemic and calls for masks and social distancing to combat its spread. It was the largest evacuation order since the pandemic began and many people followed it, filling hotels and sleeping in cars. Although not everyone fled from the coast, officials credited those who did leave for minimizing the loss of life.

Forecasters had warned that the storm surge of 15 to 20 feet would be “unsurvivable” and could push 40 miles inland. Edwards said the storm surge wound up in the range of 9 feet to 12 feet — still bad, but far from the worst forecast. He was hopeful damaged homes could quickly be made habitable.

The priority, Edwards said, was search and rescue, followed by efforts to find hotel or motel rooms for those unable to stay in their homes. Officials in Texas and Louisiana have both sought to avoid traditional mass shelters for evacuees over fears of spreading COVID-19, and Edwards was concerned that the storm would inhibit coronavirus testing as schools and universities are reopening.

Bucky Millet, 78, of Lake Arthur, Louisiana, considered evacuating but decided to ride out the storm with family due to concerns about the coronavirus. He said a small tornado blew the cover off the bed of his pickup and made him think the roof on his house was next.

“You’d hear a crack and a boom and everything shaking,” he said.

The force of Laura’s winds blew out every window of the living room in the Lake Charles house where Bethany Agosto survived the storm with her sister and two others. They fled to a closet when the hurricane was at its worst.

“It was like a jigsaw puzzle in this closet. We were on top of each other, just holding each other and crying,” Agosto said.

The storm was so powerful that it could regain strength after turning east and reaching the Atlantic Ocean, potentially threatening the densely populated Northeast.

Laura hit the U.S. after killing nearly two dozen people on the island of Hispaniola, including 20 in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic, where it knocked out power and caused intense flooding.

It was the seventh named storm to strike the U.S. this year, setting a new record for U.S. landfalls by the end of August. The old record was six in 1886 and 1916, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

Laura was tied with five other storms for fifth most powerful U.S. hurricane, behind the 1935’s Labor Day storm, 1969’s Camille, 1992’s Andrew and 2004’s Charley, Klotzbach said.

___

Associated Press contributors include Jeff Martin in Marietta, Georgia; Kevin McGill in New Orleans; John L. Mone in Holly Beach, Louisiana; Paul J. Weber in Austin, Texas; Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland; Juan A. Lozano in Houston; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas; and Sophia Tulp in Atlanta.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

National News | Weather News
Benjamin Luna
Benjamin Luna helps recover items from the children’s wing of the First Pentecostal Church that was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Orange, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Benjamin Luna
Benjamin Luna helps recover items from the children’s wing of the First Pentecostal Church that was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Orange, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Maria Ramirez, Jose Avila
Maria Ramirez and her son 17-year old son Jose Avila stand in front of their home in Orange, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, and survey damage after a portion of the large tree on their front lawn was blown down onto their house by Hurricane Laura’s winds. Ramirez, 57, said the tree crashed through her garage and also damaged her living room and kitchen. Ramirez said she her family had evacuated to Houston before the storm came ashore and were not at home when the tree fell. (AP Photo/Juan Lozano)

Neftali Luna
Neftali Luna surveys damages to the children’s wing of the First Pentecostal Church caused by Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Orange, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Neftali Luna
Neftali Luna surveys damages to the children’s wing of the First Pentecostal Church caused by Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Orange, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Homes and other buildings have been left damaged by Hurricane Laura, Thursday Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
Homes and other buildings have been left damaged by Hurricane Laura, Thursday Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)

Boats and debris are seen along the beach following Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, La., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Chris Granger/The Advocate via AP)
Boats and debris are seen along the beach following Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, La., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Chris Granger/The Advocate via AP)

Tom Hoge
An electric pole and campaign sign are seen on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

This aerial photo shows damage from Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
This aerial photo shows damage from Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)

A man looks into an overturned 18-wheeler truck at daybreak after Hurricane Laura moved through the area Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Sulphur, La. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)
A man looks into an overturned 18-wheeler truck at daybreak after Hurricane Laura moved through the area Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Sulphur, La. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: Kyana Myers looks into a room that had its roof blown off as Hurricane Laura passed through the area on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27:A Lake Charles police officer helps clear the streets in the downtown area after Hurricane Laura passed through on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: Reagan Cotten and Kate Cotten walk through the downtown area after Hurricane Laura passed through on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: Mitch PIckering plays his guitar while walking through the downtown area after Hurricane Laura passed through on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: A person is seen walking through a building with its windows blown out in the downtown area after Hurricane Laura passed through on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: A person stands next to a hotel that had parts of its roof blown off as Hurricane Laura passed through the area on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: A room that had its roof blown off is seen in a hotel after Hurricane Laura passed through the area on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tom Hoge
Dustin Amos walks near debris at a gas station on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., after Hurricane Laura moved through the state. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Tom Hoge
Dustin Amos walks near debris at a gas station on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La., after Hurricane Laura moved through the state. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Down power lines stretch across a road in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Sabine Pass, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Down power lines stretch across a road in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Sabine Pass, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: A street is seen strewn with debris and downed power lines after Hurricane Laura passed through the area on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: A building with its windows blown out is seen in the downtown area after Hurricane Laura passed through on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SABINE PASS, TX – AUGUST 27: Flooding caused by Hurricane Laura on August 27, 2020 in Sabine Pass, Texas. Hurricane Laura came ashore bringing rain and high winds to the eastern part of the state. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

SABINE PASS, TX – AUGUST 27: Flooding is seen from Hurricane Laura August 27, 2020 in Sabine Pass, Texas. Hurricane Laura came ashore bringing rain and high winds to the eastern part of the state. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

SABINE PASS, TX – AUGUST 27: Flooding caused by Hurricane Laura on August 27, 2020 in Sabine Pass, Texas. Hurricane Laura came ashore bringing rain and high winds to the eastern part of the state. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

A picture taken on August 27, 2020 shows a destroyed string of lights swinging in the wind as the eye wall of hurricane Laura passes over in Lake Charles, Louisiana. – Hurricane Laura slammed into the southern US state of Louisiana on August 27 and the monster 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 150 miles per hour (240 kilometers per hour) and “destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage” to Louisiana and Texas. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – AUGUST 27: Trees blow in the winds from Hurricane Laura near the Golden Nugget Hotel on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hurricane Laura came ashore bringing rain and high winds to the South West region of the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A single truck is parked in an open lot as heavy rains from hurricane Laura fall in Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 26, 2020. – Hurricane Laura was barreling towards the coast of the southern US states of Louisiana and Texas on August 26 as a monster Category 4 storm, prompting warnings of “unsurvivable” storm surge and evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

GALVESTON, TX – AUGUST 26: A woman looks out at the beach in front of a boarded-up building as waves from Hurricane Laura roll in on August 26, 2020 in Galveston, Texas. Laura rapidly strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane during the day, prompting the National Hurricane Center to describe the accompanying storm surge as “unsurvivable” and noted that it could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

GALVESTON, TX -  A view of waves from Hurricane Laura  on August 25, 2020 in Galveston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
GALVESTON, TX – A view of waves from Hurricane Laura on August 25, 2020 in Galveston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at 2:40 p.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Hurricane Laura over the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Laura strengthened Wednesday into “an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane," The National Hurricane Center said.
Laura is expected to strike Wednesday night into Thursday morning along the Louisiana-Texas border. (NOAA via AP)
This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at 2:40 p.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Hurricane Laura over the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Laura strengthened Wednesday into “an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane,” The National Hurricane Center said. Laura is expected to strike Wednesday night into Thursday morning along the Louisiana-Texas border. (NOAA via AP)

Yvonne Lancgo, of Lake Charles, waits to board a bus to evacuate Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, ahead of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Daoith Porm, Bunsant Khov
Daoith Porm, right, and Bunsant Khov, left, board their business with Hurricane Laura just hours away, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Bridge City, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Stormi Coleman, 11, holds Avein Lawson, 1, as they wait to board a bus to evacuate Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, ahead of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Mark Allums, left, and Hunter Clark watch waves crash ashore as outer bands from Hurricane Laura begin to hit the coast Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in High Island. The two are from Bogata, Texas, near Paris, Texas, and they came to board up windows at a beach house in High Island. ( Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

A Cameron Parish Sheriff deputy wipes his face as he mans a roadblock in the rain on LA 27 while residents evacuate Cameron in Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, ahead of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Lake Charles Fire Department personnel Alvin Taylor, right, and Jeremy Harris, left, assist Tim Williams into a transport van as he evacuates Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, ahead of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Alaira Brown, right, takes her niece Delilah Francis, 6 months, from Ledonna Brown, as they wait to board buses to evacuate Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, ahead of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

People show their wrist band identifications as they line up to board buses to evacuate Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, ahead of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Luke Odell, a storm chaser, goes into the ocean for a swim Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in High Island, Texas. Hurricane Laura is expected to strike Wednesday night into Thursday morning along the Louisiana-Texas border. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

People arrive at the civic center to board the evacuation buses, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Port Arthur, Texas. Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall in the area Wednesday night or early Thursday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Osman Antunez cuts plywood to cover the windows at Stonewater, Inc. Disaster Relief on Post Office Street in downtown Galveston Tuesday, Aug 25, 2020. Local businesses continued to make preparations for Hurricane Laura’s arrival along the gulf coast. (Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

(1/42)
Benjamin Luna
Benjamin Luna
Maria Ramirez, Jose Avila
Neftali Luna
Neftali Luna
Homes and other buildings have been left damaged by Hurricane Laura, Thursday Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
Boats and debris are seen along the beach following Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, La., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Chris Granger/The Advocate via AP)
Tom Hoge
This aerial photo shows damage from Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
A man looks into an overturned 18-wheeler truck at daybreak after Hurricane Laura moved through the area Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Sulphur, La. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Tom Hoge
Tom Hoge
Down power lines stretch across a road in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Sabine Pass, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
GALVESTON, TX -  A view of waves from Hurricane Laura  on August 25, 2020 in Galveston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at 2:40 p.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Hurricane Laura over the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Laura strengthened Wednesday into “an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane," The National Hurricane Center said.
Laura is expected to strike Wednesday night into Thursday morning along the Louisiana-Texas border. (NOAA via AP)
Daoith Porm, Bunsant Khov

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up