Hurricane Laura approaches Louisiana-Texas border, Gulf Coast evacuate

Tropical storm warning dropped for the Florida Keys as Laura menaces the Gulf Coast

Tropical storm warning dropped for the Florida Keys as Laura menaces the Gulf Coast

"The main point is that we're going to have a significant hurricane make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday", National Hurricane Center Deputy Director Ed Rappaport said Tuesday.

"Today's strength was again nearly entirely attributable to storm concerns", said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois, noting the storm factor would likely overshadow the weekly storage report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Laura also threatens the major oil refining centers of Lake Charles, Louisiana and Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas, located near the coast. Hurricane Rita then struck southwest Louisiana that September 24 as a Category 3 storm.

Two systems, Tropical Storm Marco and now Hurricane Laura, churned in the Gulf of Mexico over the past few days.

The silver lining for U.S. coastal residents is that Marco weakened into a remnant just off Louisiana's shore on Tuesday.

"By about noon tomorrow, people in Louisiana need to be where they intend to ride this storm out and they need to be postured accordingly with their families", Edwards said during his Tuesday evening press conference.

If Laura moves further west toward Houston, there will be a much bigger gasoline supply problem, Oil analyst Andrew Lipow said, since refineries usually take two to three weeks to resume full operations.

"Please take extra precautions to pack up your home and family and finalize your plans", the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office told residents.

Riots in Sweden after Quran burning by far-right activists
Between 10 and 20 protesters were arrested late Friday but were all subsequently released, police spokesman Patric Fors told AFP. Protesters were throwing objects at police officers and vehicle tyres had been set on fire, a police spokesman said.

Mandatory evacuations have also been ordered for Galveston and Orange County. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Friday in preparation for the incoming storms.

A Category 4 hurricane can cause damage so catastrophic that power outages may last for months in places, and wide areas could be uninhabitable for weeks or months. Associated Press contributors include Paul Weber in Austin, Texas; Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland; Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge; Louisiana; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas; Julie Walker in NY, and Sophia Tulp in Atlanta, Georgia. Were basically going to be blind for this week, Edwards said, referring to the lack of testing.

The crew of a hurricane hunter plane confirmed that Laura became a hurricane with top winds of 120km/h (75mph) shortly after passing between the western tip of Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Analysts forecast USA crude stockpiles fell for a fifth week in a row last week, according to a Reuters poll conducted ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) at 4:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) on Tuesday and the government on Wednesday.

Laura is predicted to remain a tropical storm for at least a day after making landfall, bringing intense rainfall of from 4 to 8 inches.

"The threat of widespread flash and urban flooding, along with small streams overflowing their banks, will be increasing Wednesday night into Thursday from far eastern Texas, across Louisiana, and Arkansas", the NHC says.

Over the weekend, Laura's remnants are predicted to spread rains into the middle-Mississippi, lower OH and Tennessee valleys.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.