Hurricane Laura is in the Gulf of Mexico and is on track to be one of the largest storms to hit the United States in 2020.
This Tuesday it was reported that Laura has become a hurricane after entering the warm and deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which made her gain strength on her way to hit the coast of the United States as a great storm that could flood entire towns .
The National Hurricane Center projected that Laura would become a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall, with winds of around 115 mph (185 kph) capable of causing devastating damage.
“The bottom line is that we’re going to have a major hurricane making landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday,” National Hurricane Center deputy director Ed Rappaport said Tuesday.
Here are some some recent satellite images of strengthening Hurricane #Laura over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The next forecast update will be at 10 AM CDT. Follow @NHC_Atlantic for the latest forecast information and on the web at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB. pic.twitter.com/J5D7GI3gLn
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 25, 2020
The US expects Laura’s impact as a hurricane
The decapitating crosswinds that killed Marco are not present, so there is little to stop Laura from speeding up. Almost all of the computer simulations that forecasters rely on show rapid strengthening sometime in the next few days.
“The waters are warm enough everywhere to withstand a major hurricane, Category 3 or even higher. The waters are very warm where the storm is now and they will be all the way to the Gulf Coast, ”said Rappaport.
Laura passed through Cuba after killing at least 11 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where she cut off the electricity supply and caused flooding in the two nations that share the island of Hispaniola. The deaths reportedly included a 10-year-old girl whose home was hit by a tree and a mother and young son who were crushed by a collapsing wall.
Now forecasters are turning their attention to the Gulf Coast, where up to 3.4 meters of seawater (storm surge) could flood the coast from High Island in Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana, the hurricane center said.
“We are talking about something that is of the order of 3 meters and that is going to penetrate well inland,” said Rappaport.
On top of that, up to 15 inches of rain could fall in some places in Louisiana, said Donald Jones, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on the bullseye of Laura’s projected trajectory.
The silver lining for America’s coastal residents is that the previous storm, Marco, weakened enormously and became a remnant off the Louisiana coast on Tuesday. Satellite images showed a disorganized group of clouds. It was relegated to what meteorologists call “a naked eddy,” Jones said.
The crew of a hurricane chaser plane confirmed that Laura became a hurricane with maximum winds of 120 km / h shortly after passing between the western tip of Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It was 1005 kilometers southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, heading west northwest at 28 km / h.
The hurricane center warned people not to focus on the details of the official forecast, as “the dangers of storm surge, wind and rain will extend quite far from the center of Laura along the Gulf Coast.”
In Port Arthur Texas, Mayor Thurman Bartie issued a mandatory evacuation order for the city’s more than 54,000 residents beginning at 6 a.m. this Tuesday, so people will enter official shelters and can bring only one bag of personal belongings each and must “have a mask” to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, according to the order.
Houston authorities asked residents to prepare supplies in case they lose power for a few days or need to evacuate houses along the coast.
Several states are in emergency
State emergencies were declared in Louisiana and Mississippi, and shelters with separate cots were opened, among other measures designed to curb infections.
Louisiana faces the threat of being hit by a major hurricane when Rita’s passing is still on Ron Leleux’s mind, “We finally ran out of luck in 2005 with Rita,” Leleux said from his home in Sulfur, where he worked. as mayor from 2002 to 2010.