Hurricane Laura Strengthens to Category 4; Catastrophic Storm Surge Expected

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Hurricane Laura, a catastrophic Category 4 storm, is expected to make landfall around midnight bringing with it, un-survivable storm surges along the Texas and Louisiana coastline of 15 to 20 feet and winds of 145mph.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, as of 1:00PM CDT, Wednesday, August 26, 2020 issued the following, "Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft reports Laura has become an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane. Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding are expected along the northwest gulf coast tonight. Little time remains to protect life and property."

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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards preempted the post-devastation government stall associated with natural disasters and sent the Federal Disaster relief request on August 22, 2020 requesting FEMA assistance, which he was granted.

Striking nearly fifteen years since the devastating Hurricane Katrina, the quickly intensifying Laura swelled into a massive, and well-defined storm, building in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Not expected to make landfall in near New Orleans, the most devastated Lower Ninth Ward should be protected.

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There is little time left for those in the region to board up and evacuate. Hurricane hold out's or online influencers who hope to gain internet fame by riding out the storm, are taking their lives into their own hands. There will be no rescue resources available.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale a Category 4 Hurricane will produce catastrophic damage. Well-built framed homes will 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.

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The storm is moving fairly quickly and will strike along the border of Texas and Louisiana this evening lashing the region with 145mph winds and in the direct impact zone from Sea Rim State Park, Texas to Intercoastal City, Louisiana, the storm surge has been deemed un-survivable at 15 to 20feet which means the storm surge alone will top out above most structures.

With the waves, wind, and high tide, a 20-foot storm surge is a conservative estimate and could penetrate thirty miles inland.

This extremely dangerous storm surge is predicted for Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, with regions south of Galveston, Texas, New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi expected to see a storm surge between two and four feet. The coastline alone the Louisiana cities of Marsh Island and Empire will see storm surge expected to reach four to seven feet.

The coastline that includes Galveston, Texas, and north, is expected to see a surge from six to nine feet. Small pockets of coastline will see storm surges up to ten feet, the most dangerous begins at the Texas border throughout the Louisiana coastline where the storm surge is expected to reach 20 feet.

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The high winds will also spawn tornadoes, and the expected path of the storm with travel Northeast throughout the weekend dumping large amounts of rain throughout the Midwest and Ohio valley. The potential for damaging winds, flooding and flash floods remains in effect for those regions.

The path will create a debris field covering an expected fifteen states with varying degrees of  devastation.

This is a developing story.

Images courtesy of National Hurricane Center.

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