Category 4 Hurricane Laura Battered Texas-Louisiana Border, ‘Severely Damaging’ Lake Charles, Louisiana

By Nancy Flory Published on August 26, 2020

Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday morning in Cameron, Louisiana, hitting the coast with 150 mph winds. It moved 45 miles inland and battered Lake Charles, Louisiana before weakening into a category 2 storm. 

Storm chaser Stephen Jones told Fox & Friends First that Lake Charles was “severely damaged.”

Another storm chaser, Jeff Piotrowski, tweeted a picture of a skyscraper and said that some buildings may be total losses. “Breaking news major damage in Downtown Lake Charles many skyscrapers have blown out winds (sic). Some of the building may be total losses. Many roof (sic) off massive flying debris. @NWSLakeCharles #lawx #HurricaneLaura.”

Although officials told them to leave the area, at least 150 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, did not. “It’s a very sad situation,” said Ashley Buller, assistant director of emergency preparedness. “We did everything we could to encourage them to leave.”

In nearby Calcasieu Parish, President of the Parish Police Jury Tony Guillory told the Associated Press Thursday morning that many in his area stayed as well. “There are some people still in town and people are calling … but there ain’t no way to get to them.” He said he hoped they could be rescued later in the day but that downed power lines and flooded roads may block efforts to do so.

As of 6:00 a.m. CDT Thursday, Laura was a category 2 storm. 

This story has been updated. 

Hurricane Laura strengthened into a category 4 storm in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). As of 1:00 p.m. CDT, NHC tweeted that the hurricane’s storm surge would be “unsurvivable.”

“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. This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline. #Laura.” The storm surge is expected to be 7-20 feet, Fox News reported.

The NHC later tweeted that there wasn’t much time to protect life and property. “#Laura is now an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane with maximum winds of 140 MPH. Little time remains to protect life and property before water levels begin to rise and winds increase in the warning areas.”

As of 6:00 p.m. CDT, tropical force winds and heavy rains began to hit the central coast of Louisiana. “Position Update for Hurricane #Laura. Sustained tropical-storm-force winds and steady heavy rains beginning to spread onshore the central Louisiana coast.”

A Lake Charles, Louisiana, National Weather Service meteorologist had a dire warning for people in Laura’s path. “Your life will be in immediate and grave danger beginning this evening if you do not evacuate,” Donald Jones said.

President Trump told residents to listen to their local officials. “Hurricane Laura is a very dangerous and rapidly intensifying hurricane. My Administration remains fully engaged with state & local emergency managers to continue preparing and assisting the great people [of] Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Listen to local officials. We are with you!”

Please be in prayer for those in the path of the hurricane. 

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