Hurricane Laura is expected to become an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm and slam into the Louisiana and Texas coasts as a major hurricane Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center. At least 20 million people are in the storm’s path and have been ordered to evacuate.
The hurricane, currently a Category 3, was “rapidly intensifying” over the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday, the hurricane center said. It warned of potentially catastrophic and life-threatening storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding Wednesday night along the northwest Gulf Coast
“Only a few hours remain to protect life and property,” it said late Wednesday morning.Laura was located about 225 miles south-southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and 235 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, according to the hurricane center. It was moving northwest at 16 mph and had maximum sustained winds near 125 mph.
“On the forecast track, Laura will approach the Upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts this evening and move inland
within that area tonight. The center of Laura is forecast to move over northwestern Louisiana tomorrow, across Arkansas Thursday
night, and over the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday,” the hurricane center said.
Laura is expected to rapidly weaken after it makes landfall.