LOS ANGELES - The Vermilion Parish Policy Jury issued a mandatory evacuation on Wednesday for some areas in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, as Hurricane Laura made landfall along the Texas and Lousiana costs as a ferocious, life-threatening Category 4 storm.
The Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office issued a grim warning to residents choosing to ride out Hurricane Laura rather than evacuate.
The Facebook post read, “If the storm maintains its current track and projected strength as a CAT 3 or 4, it will cause massive tidal flooding with a possible 12 to 18 foot surge and catastrophic wind damage to structures in Vermilion Parish creating a very dangerous situation to include loss of life. A curfew is in place beginning Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. until further notice.”
“Please evacuate and if you choose to stay and we can’t get to you, write your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put it a ziplock bag in your pocket. Praying that it does not come to this,” the post stated. “Expecting the worse but praying for the best.”
Earlier on Wednesday, officials ordered evacuations for areas including Pecan Island, Intracoastal City, Esther, Forked Island and Mouton Cover. Evacuations were also ordered for areas south of La. Hwy. 14 including Earth, Delcambre, Gueydan and any low-lying areas prone to flooding.
The mandatory evacuation followed numerous reports that Hurricane Laura could bring 20-foot storm surge to areas that forecasters said would be “unsurvivable” and capable of inundating entire communities
Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane early Thursday morning CDT with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.
The main threats from Laura include heavy rain, dangerous storm surge, flooding, gusty winds and short-lived tornadoes.
A catastrophic storm surge will impact the region and a threat of flooding rain will extend well inland.
Joel Cline, Tropical Program Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 15 to 20 feet of storm surge will be possible with Hurricane Laura. “Those numbers are kind of surreal, ” Cline said. “So, if you lived in a two-story house, the water would be up to the roof.” Cline said a two-story house would not hold up in the expected conditions.
According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surge could move 40 miles inland from the coast in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.