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National Hurricane Center Has a Dire Warning

It says the storm surge from Hurricane Laura will be 'unsurvivable'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2020 9:30 AM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2020 2:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Hurricane Laura is now a Category 4 storm, and it's headed right toward Texas and Louisiana. And the warning that the National Hurricane Center has for some who live in those states is a dire one. It tweeted Wednesday: "Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline." In its recent advisory, the NHC says the hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 140 mph and that it could further strengthen this afternoon. It is expected to make landfall Wednesday night as a Category 4 hurricane, though "rapid weakening is expected after Laura" reaches land.

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"Steps to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in the next few hours," the NHC warned early Wednesday, per CBS News. "We're going to have significant flooding in places that we don't ordinarily see it," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a Tuesday news briefing. "There will be a lot of devastation wreaked upon Texas as the storm sweeps through," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added in his own Tuesday presser. Weather.com has this from the mayor of Texas' Port Arthur: "If you decide to stay, you are on your own. I will not put my people in harm’s way. If you stay, it is you and God.” Some 750,000 people have been told to evacuate. The AP notes that officials in Austin says the city has used up all its free hotel rooms for evacuees and is sending those in need of shelter to a location another 200 miles north. (Read more Hurricane Laura stories.)

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