Hurricane Laura has formed and could strike the central Gulf Coast this week as a Category 3 hurricane, bringing 115 mph winds and up to 13 feet of storm surge in some places.
The storm appeared poised to strike the border of Texas and Louisiana on Thursday morning, and officials ordered evacuations in some spots, including Galveston, Texas, and Cameron Parish, Louisiana.
As of the 5 p.m. update, Laura was about 480 miles southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, with 80 mph winds. Forecasters said it could strengthen to a Category 3 this week as it grows in the warm waters and low shear of the Gulf of Mexico.
“All indications are that the hurricane should steadily to rapidly intensify during the next 24 h, with the only negative factor being the possibility of more dry air entrainment,” forecasters wrote.
All watches and warnings in Florida and Cuba have been lifted, but a bevy of new ones — including a hurricane warning for San Luis Pass, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana — were issued midmorning Tuesday.
Tropical-storm-force winds expand up to 175 miles out from the center of the storm and hurricane-force winds stretch to 45 miles from the center.
Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Sabine Lake, is forecast to have the highest storm surge — 9 to 13 feet. Forecasters said the area could see 5 to 10 inches of rain altogether, with some spots seeing 15 inches.
The hurricane center stopped issuing updates on Marco Tuesday morning as the storm dissolved just before closing in on land.