On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to evacuate the Gulf Coast as Laura intensified into a hurricane that forecasters said could strike as a massive storm with vicious winds and devastating flooding into Texas and Louisiana.
More than 385,000 people were advised to leave Texas, and even more were ordered to evacuate low-lying southwestern Louisiana, where forecasters predicted that as much as 13 feet (3.96 meters) of storm surge accompanied by waves could swamp entire communities. The National Hurricane Center expected to transform Laura into a Category 3 hurricane before arriving late Wednesday or early Thursday, with winds of around 115 mph (185 kph) capable of having catastrophic effects.
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Hurricane Laura expected make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane
Houston authorities told residents to secure supplies in case they lose electricity for a couple of days or need to evacuate homes along the sea. Those in the region also recover from the Hurricane Harvey destruction three years ago.
Reports state that as of Tuesday morning Laura was heading northwest at 16 mph (26 kmh) at 585 miles (940 km) southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The high winds were around 75 mph (120 kph). The hurricane center swung a little further west of its predicted course and moved closer to Texas.
Laura so far is believed to have caused devastating damage. Laura passed Cuba on the island of Hispaniola after killing approximately two dozen people, including 20 in Haiti. It further killed three in the Dominican Republic, where it knocked out electricity and caused heavy flooding.
Jeremy Burke said the greatest threat is the storm surge, in Waveland, Mississippi. The coastal towns were ravaged by Katrina in 2005.
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