Forecasters predicted that Laura, which reached hurricane strength on Tuesday, would become a major Category 3 storm before making landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border.
Hurricane Laura Live Updates
Gov. Greg Abbott predicted that “there will be a lot of devastation wrecked upon Texas as the storm sweeps through,” and that wind would be the biggest threat to much of the state.
Hurricane Laura could become a major Category 3 storm.
Laura strengthened from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday as it cut through the Gulf of Mexico on a path toward the coasts of Louisiana and Texas, where officials have told more than 500,000 people to evacuate.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas warned residents to be prepared for “very high winds” and surging water of up to 10 feet when the storm slams into the eastern part of the state on Wednesday night or early Thursday.
Forecasters said that Laura could become a major Category 3 hurricane before landfall as it gathers energy from the Gulf’s warm waters. Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana compared the storm to Hurricane Rita, which caused an estimated $25.2 billion in damage when it struck the state’s coast in 2005.
The region had been on alert for a “one-two punch” of back-to-back hurricanes that meteorologists had warned might pummel Louisiana and Texas this week, but the first system to arrive, Tropical Storm Marco, significantly weakened before making landfall Monday evening.
— Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (@ReadyHarris) August 25, 2020
“Let me make this as clear as possible: All of us need to be prepared for the very real potential of a direct hit from this storm,” said Ms. Hidalgo, whose title is county judge. “This is truly when we have to say, prepare for the worst.”
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Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas also mobilized more than 70 members of the Army and Air National Guards and the Texas State Guard to help local, state and federal officials with the storm response.
Hurricane Laura Live Updates: Evacuations Near Houston as Texas Prepares