Hurricane Laura, category 4 disaster scenario

Tropical Storm Laura is seen moving across the Gulf of Mexico towards Louisiana on Aug 25 2020. Laura is set to become Category 4 storm with winds forecast to peak at 209kmh

"This surge could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate coastline, and flood waters will not fully recede for several days after the storm". It has been updated to reflect conditions with Laura.

Inside the storm, Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft reports late this afternoon showed that Laura's maximum winds had risen to a sustained level near 145 miles per hour, making it a solid Category 4 hurricane.

Nearly half of all deaths from tropical cyclones come from storm surge.

Privately, you may be wondering (and you wouldn't be alone): "What exactly is storm surge?"

National Hurricane Center (NHC) Director Ken Graham told reporters the storm is expected to pose a "life-threatening situation", Yahoo News reported.

The weather agency indicated that Laura has reached maximum sustained wind speeds of 140 miles per hour and that the cyclone is moving toward the U.S. coastline at a pace of 16 miles per hour.

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"Some additional strengthening is possible this afternoon, and Laura is forecast to remain a category 4 hurricane through landfall tonight".

"If you do not get out of harms' way, the reality is for nearly a 24 hour time period there will be a limited ability for rescuers or aiders to assist you in any way", Abbott said.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the United States, in Miami, predicted that Hurricane Laura, will increase its strength during the day, causing potentially deadly storm surge, extreme winds and flooding in East Texas and Louisiana, also described a catastrophic scenario. These winds are expected to be felt in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana by 8 p.m. CDT on Wednesday.

More than 1.5 million people are under some type of evacuation orders across parts of Texas and Louisiana ahead of Laura, which killed at least nine people when it raked parts of the Caribbean as a tropical storm earlier this month.

According to the NHC, hurricanes are considered major when they reach Category 3 or above because of the potential impact to life and property. Category 4 storms bring "catastrophic damage" with well-built framed homes at risk of losing most of the roof structure and/or exterior walls. Downed trees and power poles will insulate residential areas.

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