Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana overnight and is expected to remain a hurricane all the way to the Arkansas border. The Category 4 weather event slammed into the Louisiana Gulf coast and has continued to pummel the state with strong winds and rain. It also brought a heavy storm surge. which the National Hurricane Center defined as "unsurvivable."
According to NPR, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham spoke on Thursday, saying that Laura has been able to sustain winds of at least 100 mph and that it will continue to be a hurricane "near Shreveport, almost into Arkansas." Graham added: "Even if you're well inland, you could still see some of these impacts because it can knock down the trees. You can see flash flooding and power outages throughout Louisiana, East Texas and even into Arkansas."
He then warned, "I wouldn't be surprised if some places get 12 inches of rain, maybe even 15 by the time it's all said and done," and concluded, "We're not done yet."
Here are the 10 AM CDT Key Messages for Hurricane #Laura. Damaging winds will continue near the center over portions of northern Louisiana and Arkansas today and this evening. Refer to your local weather office at https://t.co/SiZo8ohZMN for more details. pic.twitter.com/mrVctjLfin— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 27, 2020
Early on in projections for the storm, the city of Galveston, Texas was forecast to be in Laura's path, which led to an evacuation order from city leadership. "Mandatory evacuations will be ongoing throughout the day and early tomorrow, so people have time to secure their properties, businesses, etc. and leave for safety. Residents are NOT required to be off the island by 12 p.m. City services will be suspended at 12 p.m. People should be getting their plans together this morning for an evacuation."
However, as daylight broke, it was discovered that the Galveston did not incur damage, and only had some flooding that will likely recede soon. "We're feeling very fortunate this morning," the city said in a statement on Thursday, adding that it "did not sustain wind or storm damage, and water is receding in low-lying areas that experienced street flooding."
Galveston leaders then offered their support to the surrounding areas that were heavily impacted, saying, "While we feel thankful and lucky this morning, our thoughts are with our neighbors along the upper Texas Coast and Louisiana. The City has reached out to our various partners to see how we may be able to provide help to those affected by Hurricane Laura."