Laura strikes Louisiana as Category 4 storm
Hurricane Laura slammed southern Louisiana early Thursday as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful to strike the Gulf Coast in decades. The storm made landfall at 1 a.m. near Cameron, La., about 35 miles east of the Texas border.
Downtown Lake Charles, La. took a heavy hit, with widespread destruction from Laura’s devastating winds. Roofs were peeled off, buildings were destroyed, and lampposts were tossed into the streets.
The storm, which leaped from a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday to a high-end Category 4 on Wednesday night, packed 150 mph peak winds when it crossed the coast. The storm weakened and was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane Thursday morning as it headed northward, but it still had sustained winds of more than 100 mph.
Hurricane Laura’s ferocious winds, storm surge could be ‘unsurvivable’ along Texas, Louisiana coast
Heavy rain was predicted to be widespread across the west-central Gulf Coast with five to 10 inches falling over a broad area, and locally up to 18 inches, leading to flash flooding.