Watch live satellite tracking and forecasting of Hurricane Laura.
Laura pounded the Gulf Coast for hours with ferocious wind, torrential rains and rising seawater as it roared ashore over southwestern Louisiana near the Texas border early Thursday, threatening the lives of people who didn’t evacuate.
Hours after landfall, Laura was still a Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph). Its center was past Lake Charles, moving north at about 15 mph (24 kph), but with damaging winds that stretched over much of Louisiana and parts of eastern Texas.
One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. pounded the Gulf Coast with wind and rain Thursday as Laura roared ashore in Louisiana near the Texas border, unleashing a fearsome wall of seawater and killing at least one person.
Louisiana took the brunt of the damage when the Category 4 system barreled over Lake Charles, an industrial and casino city of 80,000 people. Laura’s powerful gusts blew out windows in tall buildings and tossed around glass and debris. Police spotted a floating casino that came unmoored and hit a bridge.
Drone video showed water surrounding homes with much of their roofs peeled away. Gov. John Bel Edwards reported Louisiana’s first fatality — a 14-year-old girl who died when a tree fell on her home in Leesville, more than 100 miles inland.
The hurricane’s top wind speed of 150 mph (241 kph) put it among the most powerful systems on record in the U.S.