The ‘extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday morning as a Category 4 near Cameron, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. The eye of the storm pushed inland across southwestern Louisiana around 3:00 ET, with “catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Around 0500ET, the NHC downgraded Laura to a Category 3 storm with winds up to 120 mph. The storm is moving northward through Louisiana as an “unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves” batters the region.
NHC’s Latest Update
It’s too early to speculate the total dollar amount of damage caused by Laura. Still, with floodwaters expected to penetrate 40 miles inland and take “several days” to recede, it could be in the billions of dollars, like other major storms to hammer the region in recent years.
Storm Surge Map
“Hurricane-force winds and widespread damaging wind gusts will continue to spread well inland into portions of extreme eastern Texas and western Louisiana through the day,” NHC said.
— Andrew Gorton WTOC (@AndrewGortonWx) August 27, 2020
PowerOutage.US shows more than 300,000 customers are without power in Louisiana and a little more than 75,000 in Texas.
The storm is just north of Lake Charles and is moving north at 15 mph.
Significant damage is being reported in Downtown Lake Charles.
Breaking news major damage in Downtown Lake Charles many skyscrapers have blown out winds.
Some of the building may be total losses.
Many roof off massive flying debris. @NWSLakeCharles #lawx #HurricaneLaura pic.twitter.com/s9EgeDtz43
— Jeff Piotrowski (@Jeff_Piotrowski) August 27, 2020
— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) August 27, 2020
Watch what happened at 5:15 in @Jeff_Piotrowski‘s broadcast: Breaking news Hurricane Laura. Lake Charles
This is insane. https://t.co/W5gH2mYNm3
— Magpie Rose (@MagpieRose9) August 27, 2020
Golden Nugget Lake Charles is damaged.
— KETK NEWS (@KETK) August 27, 2020
Forecast flooding depths in Lake Charles.
— Dave Throup (@DaveThroupEA) August 27, 2020
More widespread damage is being reported around Lake Charles.
Damage is widespread in Lake Charles. It’s also very difficult to get around due to all of the downed power lines and trees. The interstates have multiple blockages of power lines and light poles with the smaller roads even worse. #HurricaneLaura #lawx pic.twitter.com/TSA5OY6sM4
— Brian Emfinger (@brianemfinger) August 27, 2020
NEW: A look at some of the damage being found around Lake Charles after Hurricane Laura made landfall nearby as a Cat 4 storm. Roofs of buildings torn off, trucks toppled, debris and trees all over. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/ujlp3ZMgX7
— Erica Rakow (@EricaRakow) August 27, 2020
— Zack Fradella (@ZackFradellaWx) August 27, 2020
The long-term model tracker shows the storm could arrive in the Mid-Atlantic region by Saturday afternoon.