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The National Hurricane Center says Laura has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane as it moves deeper inland over Louisiana.

(Ben Caxton)–“Extremely dangerous” Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday near Cameron, Louisiana, bringing a “catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding” to portions of the state, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm intensified rapidly into a Category 4 hurricane as it barreled toward the Louisiana and Texas coasts with ferocious 150 mph maximum sustained winds.

But they were following forecasters’ expectations and rapidly diminishing after Laura hit land. At 7 a.m. EDT, the storm was packing 105 mph winds, making it a Category 2 hurricane. And it’s likely to be a tropical storm before the day is out, the hurricane center said.

Laura was about 30 miles north-northwest of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and 50 miles northeast of Port Arthur, Texas, at 5 a.m. and moving north at 15 mph over southwestern Louisiana.

Laura is expected to continue across Louisiana through Wednesday afternoon, move over Arkansas Wednesday night, the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday and the mid-Atlantic states on Saturday.

Laura was expected to be the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. this year. At least 20 million people were in its path and almost 600,000 were ordered to evacuate.

Hurricane Laura as seen from satellite at 5:41 a.m. EDT on August 27, 2020.

 

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