TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Laura has reached “extremely dangerous” Category 4 strength ahead of its anticipated landfall on the Gulf Coast near Texas and Louisiana.
At 11 p.m. ET Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said Laura’s maximum sustained winds were 150 mph. The storm was about 75 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana and 75 miles southeast of Port Arthur, Texas.
Laura is expected to reach the Louisiana and Texas coasts Wednesday night and move inland early Thursday morning. The hurricane is expected to produce life-threatening catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding along the northwest Gulf Coast on Wednesday evening, according to the NHC.
The National Hurricane Center said unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause damage from Sea Rim State Park in Texas to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
Here are the impacts the NHC is warning of ahead of Laura’s landfall:
The NHC warns that storm surge and tropical-storm-force winds will arrive within warnings areas well ahead of Laura’s arrival.
“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the NHC said.
According to the latest NHC forecast, storm surge could reach as high as 15 to 20 feet from Johnson Bayou, Louisiana to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, including Calcasieu Lake. Sea Rim State Park, Texas to Johnson Bayou, Louisiana – including Sabine Lake – and Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Intracoastal City, Louisiana could see 10 to 15 feet of storm surge.
Watches and warnings in effect:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- Freeport Texas to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- San Luis Pass Texas to Intracoastal City Louisiana
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Sargent Texas to San Luis Pass
- East of Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Mouth of the
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:
- Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs Mississippi
- Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- East of Intracoastal City to west of Morgan City Louisiana