Hurricane Laura’s rapid intensification Wednesday shocked scientists and prompted forecasters to issue warnings of “unsurvivable storm surge” in Texas and Louisiana. It is now a major Category 4 storm, is set to hit near the Texas-Louisiana border on Thursday morning. Catastrophic damage is expected from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. Laura could bring storm surge of nearly 13 feet to the coastline as well as flash flooding and tornadoes on land. Leaders in Texas and Louisiana have ordered evacuations for at least 500,000 residents.
Covid-19 is going to be in Texas throughout the course of the hurricane,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news briefing. As of Tuesday, producers shut down roughly 84% of offshore production in the Gulf as many refinery plants along the Texas and Louisiana coasts shutter in anticipation of life-threatening storm surge. “Little time remains to protect life and property,” the NHC said in its latest advisory. President Trump urged those in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas to listen to their local officials as the storm heads toward the Gulf Coast and then moves inland. “Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months,” NHC predicted.