Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana overnight as a strong Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. It became the first Category 4 landfalling hurricane on record in southwest Louisiana, according to The Weather Channel.
The winds have knocked out power to more than 586,000 homes and businesses in along the coast in Texas and Louisiana, according to poweroutage.us. The Weather Channel reports that there is extensive wind damage in Lake Charles, LA, including numerous shattered windows in downtown skyscrapers, in addition to a collapsed communication tower, toppled power poles and shredded roofs.
Hurricane Warnings are no longer in effect along the coast (however a Tropical Storm Warning remains); now, counties and parishes further inland (throughout Louisiana and into southern Arkansas, as well as eastern Texas) have announced a Hurricane Warning. With that that, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says “unsurvivalbe storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage” from Sea Rim State Park, TX, to Intracoastal City, LA. It adds that hurricane-force winds will continue Thursday morning with “catastrophic wind damage” expected near Laura’s eyewall.
Hurricane Laura, according to The Weather Channel, is tracking through western Louisiana as a Category 2 storm Thursday morning. The hurricane's winds will slowly weaken as it moves farther inland toward Arkansas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch valid until 4 p.m. CDT for parts of Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi—these areas include Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson and Little Rock.
Heading into and through the weekend, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and the mid-Atlantic will begin to see severe weather.
This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.