Timelapse shows Texans evacuating inland ahead of Hurricane Laura
ANAHUAC, Texas - A timelapse shows Texans evacuating ahead of Hurricane Laura.
Hurricane Laura strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, August 26, and residents on the coast of Texas were urged to prepare for a “catastrophic” storm surge, the Weather Channel said.
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.
SIGN UP FOR FOX 7 AUSTIN EMAIL ALERTS
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.
The hurricane was set to make landfall in Texas and Louisiana late Wednesday into Thursday, with a storm surge of up to 15 feet predicted for coastal areas.
DOWNLOAD THE FOX 7 AUSTIN NEWS APP
This video shows vehicles along Interstate 10 near Anahuac on Wednesday morning.
Storyful contributed to this report
Track your local forecast for the Austin area quickly with the free FOX 7 WAPP. The design gives you radar, hourly, and 7-day weather information just by scrolling. Our weather alerts will warn you early and help you stay safe during storms.