Ns News Online Desk: Hurricane Laura plowed into the Gulf Coast early Thursday, making landfall in Cameron, Louisiana as a ferocious Category 4 storm packing 150 mph winds, heavy rainfall and a powerful storm surge. The storm — one of the hardest to hit Louisiana on record — caused widespread damage, including to this home in Lake Charles, about 50 miles north of Cameron, which had its roof thorn off. New photos show the devastating, Gulf Coast destruction of Hurricane Laura, the most powerful storm to strike the US so far this year. More than 800,000 customers were without power in Texas and Louisiana Thursday afternoon, as catastrophic storm surges and extreme winds battered coastal areas under evacuation orders, and a weakening Hurricane Laura continues on its path north toward Arkansas.
The roaring, 150 mph winds and 12-foot storm surge of the Category 4 monster on Thursday wreaked havoc in Louisiana and Texas, smashing windows, shearing off roofs and downing trees and power lines.
Four people in Louisiana lost their lives when trees crashed onto their homes, officials said — including a 14-year-old girl who was the hurricane’s first announced fatality. Homes and businesses in the casino town of Lake Charles, La. — 50 miles north of where Laura came ashore — were reduced to soggy piles of kindling, the latest photos show.
Laura shattered swaths window glass on office buildings. The hurricane also partially flattened a barber shop was partially flattened, and smashed the roof and walls of one residence with wrecking ball force, the shots show.Storm damage also caused a massive fire at a chlorine manufacturing plant in southwestern Louisiana, sending clouds of dark smoke billowing skyward and prompting officials to warn nearby residents to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.
Hardest-hit Louisiana looks like it’s been “bombed,” Sen. John Kennedy said of his state, after the 500-mile-wide Category 4 system rode roughshod up the western boundary with Texas Thursday morning.
The storm made land fall at 1 a.m. in Cameron, Louisiana near the Texas-Louisiana border as a Category 4 — packing maximum sustained winds of 150 mph and drenching downpours.
Laura is the most powerful hurricane to strike the US so far this year — and one the strongest to strike Louisiana on record.