As Hurricane Laura barrels toward an expected landfall at the Texas and Louisiana border Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, experts are warning that the storm surge will be "unsurvivable" and the damage "catastrophic."
The National Hurricane Center raised the alarm in a grim Twitter post Wednesday morning, noting that the storm would bring destructive waves and could penetrate 30 miles inland between Sea Rim State Park, Texas, and Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, T… https://t.co/XoRNuN6NNQ— National Hurricane Center (@National Hurricane Center)1598454600.0
Laura, currently a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds, is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane by the time it makes landfall later today, the Weather Channel reported.
The report noted that Laura's winds jumped from 75 mph to 125 mph in the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. EDT, an increase which "easily meets the definition of rapid intensification in a hurricane."
The outlet advised "residents along the upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts [to] finish preparations now for a major hurricane strike" and "follow any evacuation orders issued by local or state officials."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) repeated the warning Wednesday afternoon, concurring that it is "an unsurvivable storm" and informing residents under mandatory evacuation orders that they only had a "few hours" left to escape its path.
"This is different than Hurricane Harvey, for example, which was a heavy rain event and a flood event," Abbott said. "This is a horrific wind event, especially where the eye will come across the shore ... those people are in harm's way."
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued similar warnings to residents of his state during a briefing Wednesday morning and even noted that residents further inland need to pay close attention as the storm could produce flooding and tornadoes.
Here's more about the storm:
4 AM: Hurricane Laura rapidly strengthened, expected to be Cat. 4 youtu.be