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Hurricane Laura's 'unsurvivable storm surge' could reach 40 miles inland

Laura is forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane
Posted at 10:43 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 23:59:52-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The National Hurricane Center says as Hurricane Laura moves into Thursday, an unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves is coming for Sea Rim State Park, Texas to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. The storm surge could reach up to 40 miles inland.

Hurricane Laura winds are increasing on the northwest Gulf Coast, and the NHC says possible tornadoes are occurring in Hurricane Laura's outer bands over southeastern Louisiana and extreme southwestern Mississippi.

Hurricane Laura, now the first major hurricane in the Atlantic of 2020 has continued to rapidly intensify reaching almost Category 5-level strength Wednesday evening.

Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding are expected along the northwest Gulf Coast Wednesday night.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for San Luis Pass, Texas to the west of Morgan City, Louisiana. This means hurricane-force conditions are possible within the next 48 hours for the warned area.

Eastern Texas and Lousiana could see life-threatening storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding overnight.

A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from Freeport to San Luis Pass Texas.

Laura could bring sustained hurricane-force winds, 140 mph or greater, and even higher gusts well inland from the coast over western Louisiana and far southeastern Texas, possibly causing widespread wind damage and power outages.

A turn toward the northwest is forecast by Wednesday, and a northwestward to north-northwestward motion should continue through Wednesday night.

Laura is forecast to move over the central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday and approach the Upper Texas and Southwest Louisiana coasts Wednesday night and move inland near those areas on Thursday.

Large swells from Laura will create dangerous boating conditions, especially for small craft. Area beaches, high surf, and deadly rip currents are expected.

Hurricane Laura will not threaten the Big Bend or southern Georgia, as an upper-level ridge of high pressure steers the system into the western Gulf away from our area.

As always, be sure to follow the ABC 27 First Alert Weather Team on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to download the Storm Shield App to get watches and warnings delivered straight to your phone to stay updated on your forecast through the week. Get the app today: iPhone/iPad | Android.