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In Laura's Wake, 'Tremendous Amount of Damage'

Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas hit hard, though storm wasn't as catastrophic as feared
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 28, 2020 10:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – The remnants of Hurricane Laura mangled buildings and unleashed heavy rain and twisters hundreds of miles inland from a path of death along the Gulf Coast, and forecasters warn of new dangers as the tropical weather nears the Eastern Seaboard this weekend. One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the US, Laura was blamed for six deaths as it barreled ashore near the Louisiana-Texas state line. Flooding and more tornadoes were possible Friday as the leftovers of the once fearsome Category 4 hurricane, now a tropical depression, move eastward, per the AP. Already, an apparent tornado tore through a church and homes in Arkansas. Forecasters said it could become a tropical storm again when it moves off the mid-Atlantic coast. More than 750,000 homes and businesses were without power in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas.

A sense of relief prevailed that Laura was not the annihilating menace forecasters had feared, but a full assessment of the damage could take days. Four people were killed by falling trees in Louisiana, including a 14-year-old girl and a 68-year-old man. A 24-year-old man died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator inside his home; another man drowned in a boat that sank during the storm, authorities said. No deaths were confirmed in Texas. "It is clear that we did not sustain and suffer the absolute, catastrophic damage that we thought was likely," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "But we have sustained a tremendous amount of damage." Edwards noted the hurricane was the state's most powerful one ever, including 2005's Katrina. Laura's top wind speed of 150mph put it among the strongest systems on record in the US.

(Read more Hurricane Laura stories.)

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