Hurricane Laura Hit Louisiana With Excessive Winds
Note: The following maps will no longer be updated.
Hurricane Laura landed in the southwest corner of Louisiana at around 1 a.m. local time Thursday as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of about 150 miles per hour. It is the strongest storm in Louisiana since the last island hurricane in 1856.
Initial reports indicated extensive wind damage in Lake Charles, Louisiana, including high-rise buildings with many windows blown out. There was also a large storm surge in excess of 10 feet in some places that was still ongoing at daybreak. However, that appears to have lagged behind the “insurmountable” rise of up to 20 feet that the National Hurricane Center predicted Wednesday.
“Right now, I think we got a break from the storm surge – about half of what was planned,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told CNN Thursday morning.
On Thursday morning, the governor’s office confirmed the state’s first death, a 14-year-old girl who died after a tree fell on her home. The office said more deaths are expected.
Laura was the earliest L-named storm in the Atlantic Basin. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is currently on its way to rival in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans as the busiest in history.
Laura turned into a tropical storm on Thursday afternoon. You can keep track of the latest forecasts with the following maps.
Forecast track and wind probabilities
This updated map shows the best predicted route and wind forecast for the storm. Use the controls in the upper right corner to toggle between the likelihood of tropical gale force winds (greater than 39 miles per hour) and hurricane force winds (greater than 74 mph).
Forecast track and rain for the next 7 days
This updated map shows the best predicted route Laura put over the predicted rain for the next seven days.
“This rainfall will lead to widespread and urban flooding, small streams and creeks overflowing their banks and minor to moderate flooding of freshwater rivers,” the NHC warned Thursday morning.
On Sunday, meteorologists feared the Gulf Coast could receive an unusual double blow from successive hurricanes. Tropical storm Marco, which passed between Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula and Cuba on Saturday, was supposed to land as a hurricane. But it quickly weakened before landing near the Mississippi Estuary on Monday.
For more information, see the National Hurricane Center notice.