(CNN)Hurricane Laura will soon hit the southwest Louisiana and upper Texas coasts.
Laura has intensified rapidly — with winds increasing by 65 mph in just 24 hours — and will make landfall as an extremely powerful, dangerous Category 4 hurricane.Laura is now the most powerful August hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since Katrina hit 15 years ago.Places from Port Arthur, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana, will take a 150 mph hurricane directly head-on.This is what to expect from a Category 4 stormRead More”Catastrophic damage” will occur when a Category 4 comes ashore, says the National Hurricane Center. “Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted, and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”In addition to the winds, impacts include more than a foot of rainfall for some, isolated tornadoes for others, and as the NHC put it on Wednesday, an “unsurvivable storm surge” for many.
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 pic.twitter.com/bV4jzT3Chd
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 26, 2020 Mandatory evacuations have been issued for coastal residents in Laura’s path as a result of this dire storm surge scenario.Louisiana and Texas are, of course, no stranger to hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that Louisiana has been directly hit by 54 hurricanes, 17 of these major, and Texas by 64 hurricanes, 19 of these major, since records began in the mid-19th century.But not a single Category 4 or 5 has ever hit this part of the two states.
Map showing continental US Category 4-5 #hurricane landfalls. No Category 4-5 hurricanes have made landfall in extreme eastern Texas or southwest Louisiana on record (since 1851). #Laura #HurricaneLaura pic.twitter.com/jaRAq82DfB
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) August 26, 2020 Hurricane Laura will change that when it comes ashore during the morning hours of Thursday.It is sure to leave an indelible mark on the region. The system will be for them what Hurricane Andrew was for Miami; what Hurricane Rita was for Houston; what Hurricane Katrina was for New Orleans.