Hurricane reports from Hurricane Laura come in. Lake Charles, La., Was particularly hard hit and there are reports of chemical leaks nearby.
Laura landed near Cameron, La., As an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an early morning bulletin that Laura had weakened to a Category 3 hurricane, with a rapid weakening forecast, and the storm has since been downgraded to a Category 1
"Lake Charles experienced severe wind damage but does not appear to have seen how much storm surge was feared," said Triple-I researcher and Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Dr. Philip Klotzbach.
Despite the downgrade,
the hurricane had still held winds of more than 100 mph. Heavy rain is
is forecast to be widespread across the west-central Gulf Coast, with five to 10
inches fall over a wide area and locally up to 18 inches, leading to lightning
The storm is now tracking inland
over western Louisiana with damaging winds and is so far a risk of inland flooding
north and east as Arkansas and Ohio and the Tennessee valleys.
“The threat of tornadoes today and
even tomorrow also exists when the storm returns to Tennessee
Valley, ”said Klotzbach.