ANAHUAC, Texas - A timelapse shows Texans evacuating ahead of Hurricane Laura.
The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed Wednesday morning that Hurricane Laura had “rapidly strengthened” overnight, packing maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. Laura will bring with it hurricane-force winds, widespread flash flooding, and an “unsurvivable storm surge,” the NWS said.
Laura’s maximum sustained winds had spiked from 75 mph to 140 mph over 24 hours.
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said the storm surge was expected to pose a “life-threatening situation.” Catastrophic damage was expected from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes, the NWS said.
Chambers County, Texas, issued a voluntary evacuation order to residents in low-lying or flood-prone areas. Meanwhile, more than 385,000 residents were told to flee the Texas cities of Beaumont, Galveston, and Port Arthur, and another 200,000 were ordered to leave low-lying Calcasieu Parish in southwestern Louisiana.
Buses were staged at the Kyle White Stadium parking lot in Anahuac and Winnie Stowell County Park in Winnie on Wednesday, less than 24 hours before Hurricane Laura’s anticipated landfall, local media reported. The buses would be sent to San Antonio, Dallas, or Austin.
This video shows vehicles along Interstate 10 near Anahuac on Wednesday morning.
Storyful contributed to this report
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