The northern eyewall of Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, was moving over southwestern Louisiana’s coastal Cameron Parish, the National Hurricane Center said, and people still in the area were told to take cover immediately.
The eyewall was moving onshore southwestern Louisiana, the hurricane center said at midnight local time.
“TAKE COVER NOW! Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching and move immediately to the safe room in your shelter. Take action now to protect your life!” the hurricane center warned.
Catastrophic storm surge and dangerous winds and flash flooding was occurring, the hurricane center said.
Thousands without power in Louisiana as hurricane nears coast
There were power outages affecting more than 13,000 customers in Louisiana’s Calcasieu Parish, in the path of Hurricane Laura, as the Category 4 storm approached the coast late Wednesday.
Calcasieu Parish was ordered to evacuate ahead of the hurricane. Utility company Entergy said on its website that there were a little more than 13,000 customers without power in the parish.
In Cameron Parish, more than 1,000 customers were without power. The parish is on the Gulf Coast next to the Texas border.
Extreme wind warnings in Texas, Louisiana as Laura closes in on coast
Anyone left in some areas of Texas and Louisiana, including Port Arthur and Lake Charles, were told to treat imminent winds from Hurricane Laura as a tornado and to seek shelter immediately.
The National Weather Service said there was an “extreme wind warning” in effect as Laura, a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, closed in on the coast.
The National Hurricane Center said at midnight ET that the hurricane’s eyewall was nearing the coast of Louisiana. The storm will bring catastrophic storm surge as well as extreme winds and flash flooding, forecasters warned. The storm surge has been called “unsurvivable.”
Hurricane Laura will not alter timing of Trump’s acceptance speech, says campaign
President Trump’s campaign is pushing back at any suggestion that his Thursday acceptance speech could be adjusted due to Hurricane Laura’s impending landfall.
Multiple senior campaign officials tell NBC News there are no plans to delay the address, with one saying definitively: “The President’s acceptance speech will happen as scheduled Thursday night.”
An administration official tells us the same: the speech on the South lawn will go on, as originally planned. And White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who is at Fort McHenry tonight, previewed Thursday’s presidential remarks as “comprehensive and straightforward.”
Hurricane Laura has stopped intensifying, will likely remain Category 4 until landfall
Hurricane Laura has finally stopped intensifying as dry air from Texas has begun to wrap into its circulation, meteorologist Bill Karins reported.
But Laura will likely remain a destructive Category 4 hurricane until making landfall.
Laura was 90 miles from Lake Charles, Louisiana at 9 p.m. central time, according to an update by the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, with Cypremort, Louisiana reporting sustained winds of 45 mph.
Despite Laura no longer intensifying, storm surges are already heading onshore and will likely batter much of the region.
More than 4,000 National Guard members ready in Louisiana, Texas
The National Guard said Wednesday that more than 4,000 members — upwards of 3,000 in Louisiana and more than 1,000 in Texas — were ready to provide help as Hurricane Laura approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Around 40 aircraft and hundreds of high-water or high-profile vehicles, as well as boats, were also ready to assist in any rescues or searches, the National Guard said in a statement.
Hurricane Laura was a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph Wednesday night as it approached the U.S. Gulf Coast, with a landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border expected late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Forecasters are warning of an “unsurvivable storm surge” and catastrophic damage.
Lara Trump offers prayers to those in the path of Hurricane Laura
Lara Trump delivered the first significant mention of Hurricane Laura.
She offered prayers to the “Gulf states in the path of the hurricane.”
The hurricane strengthened to a Category 4 storm Wednesday as it prepares to make landfall along the Texas and Louisiana border overnight. Public health emergencies were declared in Texas and Louisiana.
HHS secretary declares public health emergencies in Texas, Louisiana
Public health emergencies were declared in Texas and Louisiana due to Hurricane Laura, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar made the declarations as Laura, currently a Category 4 hurricane, approached the coast of both states with what forecasters warned would be catastrophic storm surges, extreme winds and flooding.
The declarations and associated waivers give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services greater flexibility, HHS said. Azar said in a statement that they will “ensure that Americans who rely on Medicare and Medicaid have continuous access to the care they need during and after the storm.”
Medical personnel and equipment are also on hand to assist, HHS said.
Louisiana and Mississippi could face possible tornadoes as Laura approaches
As Laura approaches the continental United States, the National Weather Service anticipates possible tornadoes in the hurricane’s outer bands over southeastern Louisiana and extreme southwestern Mississippi, according to a recent update from the NWS National Hurricane Center.
At 8 p.m. central time, the storm was located 95 miles from Lake Charles, Louisiana and Port Arthur, Texas with maximum sustained winds at 150 mph.