Energy & Environment

Laura classified as hurricane, headed for Gulf Coast

NOAA

The tropical storm Laura has strengthened to a hurricane and is expected to grow stronger before making landfall in upper Texas and the southwest coasts of Louisiana later this week, according to new forecasts.

The National Hurricane Center said in an updated advisory on Tuesday that aircraft data from NOAA indicated Laura had become a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and higher gusts. By Wednesday, the storm is expected to be a major hurricane as it reaches the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. 

“Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches are in effect for portions of the northwestern Gulf coast,” The National Hurricane Center said in a tweet. 

An advisory added that after making landfall, the hurricane is expected to move inland Thursday. It also said that a storm surge of 7 to 11 feet is possible in areas from High Island, Texas, to Morgan City, La. 

Laura hit parts of western Cuba as a tropical storm overnight Monday, CNN reported. While classified as a tropical storm, Laura reportedly killed at least nine people in the Caribbean.  

The new forecasts for Laura come just a day after Marco was downgraded to a Tropical Depression that is expected to disappear Tuesday, according to report.

Lousiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) had initially voiced fears about the ability to initiate rescue efforts due to Marco and Laura hitting the region around the same time. He said Monday his chief concern was the rainfall from the storms, CNN noted.

“The NOAA Hurricane Hunter reports that #Laura has become a hurricane,” he said in a tweet following the new advisory. “It is expected to make landfall as at least a category 3. Make sure you are prepared, have a game-plan in place, have the supplies you need and that you monitor your local news to stay informed.”

Tags Gulf of Mexico hurricane Laura Louisiana Marco Storm Texas

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