By: ZACH McGOWAN
On the morning of Thursday August 27, Hurricane Laura left the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico and made its way into Louisiana. Overshadowed on the news by Coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter movement, the hurricane did significant damage. As it made landfall, it was categorized as a category 4 storm, and was recorded as one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit Louisiana, next to big ones like Hurricane Katrina.
Winds started out at 150 mph, ripping through towns on the Gulf Coast. Buildings were destroyed and people fled. During the early hours of Thursday, four people were reported dead. According to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, they included a 14-year-old girl in Leesville, a 68-year-old man near Lota, a 64-year-old woman in Allen Parish, and a 51-year-old man in Jackson Parish, all caused by falling trees
As the storm terrorized the people of Louisiana, it moved inland into Calcasieu Parish and the city of Lake Charles, where the most damage was inflicted. In a Facebook post the mayor of Lake Charles, Nic Hunter, said “The last 24 hours have felt like a week out of a bad science fiction novel.” The city was bombarded with heavy rains and flash floods. A chemical fire was ignited in a factory and released toxic gas into the air. A 24-year-old man died inside his house of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator. Another man drowned when a boat he was in sank.
During the height of the storm, over 1.5 million people were under evacuation orders in Louisiana and Texas. The storm moved into southern Arkansas, and more flash floods were warned of in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. Tornado warnings were prevalent in those states as well as Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri. 5-7 inches of rain could fall in the hurricane-affected areas.
Although it seems like a lot, Governor Edwards of Louisiana said “We did not have the worst case scenario develop — we should all be thankful for that. But there are still thousands and thousands of families whose lives are [upside down] today.”
President Trump has stated that he would visit Louisiana and Texas over the weekend. He also said “It was very big and it was very powerful, but it passed quickly.”
Hopefully people damaged by the hurricane can recover soon, but more disasters like this may come.