Hurricane Laura could bring same damage as Katrina

Scott Trahan, who works in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, made the comment while speaking on the broadcaster NBC’s «Today» programme.

Mr Trahan said: «I’m afraid we’re going to have the same damage we had last time,» referring to the category 5 storm that hit the US 15 years ago.

«A few houses might make it, most of them will probably be gone,» he added.

His remarks came as the the National Hurricane Center predicted that a storm surge could bring water 40 miles inland from the coast.

As part of its regular bulletins, the hurricane centre said on Thursday: «Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes.»

«This surge could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate coastline, and flood waters will not fully recede for several days,» it added.

Although the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Laura remains unknown, videos posted on social media show strong winds ripping debris off a tall building and smashing windows in the city of Lake Charles, located less than 50 miles from where the storm made landfall with the Louisiana coastline.

Footage also shows a heavy vehicle being tipped onto its side and signs bending from the force of the wind.

Despite orders for 580,000 coastal residents to evacuate their homes before the arrival of the hurricane, reports suggest that some people decided to stay put or were unable to leave.

Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser told ABC that between 50 and 150 people had chosen not to evacuate Cameron Parish, where the storm first struck the coast and where the storm surge is expected to be 6 meters high.

In light of this surge, Mr Nungesser expressed concerns for their safety, saying: «We know anyone that stayed that close to the coast, we’ve got to pray for them, because looking at the storm surge, there would be little chance of survival.»

Almost half a million homes and businesses were without power in the states of Louisiana and Texas on Thursday morning as a result of Hurricane Laura.

Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest storm in US history, killing at least 1,800 people near the Gulf Coast.

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