The Weather channel has shared a video depiction of what they say an ‘unsurvivable’ hurricane could look like. As Hurricane Laura makes landfall in Louisiana and Texas, the National Hurricane Center has forecasted an “unsurvivable storm surge”.
In the video, the US presenter warns people to not underestimate the storm, explaining what the kind of water height looks like. Some places in south western Louisiana could see up to 20 feet of flooding above normally dry ground.
“The water is not just around the buildings, but it’s inside as well”, says the presenter as an animated map surrounds him with ‘flooding’. Terrifyingly, the screen then shows the flood water rising gradually, eventually reaching way above the height of the presenter.
Forecasters have described Hurricane Laura as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center reports the storm made landfall at 1am CDT on Thursday near Cameron, a 400-person community about 30 miles east of the Texas border.
It had maximum sustained winds of 150mph, making it the most powerful hurricane to strike the US so far this year.
Forecasters warned the strong winds could rip apart buildings, level trees and toss vehicles like toys.
Landfall as one of most powerful storms to ever hit Louisiana arrives with unsurvivable surge and 150mph winds
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric’s Storm Prediction Centre issued a tornado watch extending across Louisiana and southeastern Texas, effective until 8am EST.
A storm surge warning also is in effect along the central Texas coast to the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana, while hurricane-force winds are expected along the Texas and Louisiana coasts through Thursday.
Areas to Laura’s east and in its direct path will see the highest storm surges, while the National Hurricane Centre warned an “unsurvivable” surge could hit southwest Louisiana and its border along the upper Texas coast.
“Widespread” flash floods are expected in streets and waterways from eastern Texas into Louisiana and Arkansas, the Hurricane Centre reported.
Portion of Interstate 10 in Louisiana were closed from Lake Charles to Lafayette.
Laura is tracked to make landfall as a Category 4 with 140mph winds as the eye of the storm moves north towards Arkansas along the Texas and Louisiana borders.
The region has been battered by storms that have intensified with the climate crisis, with the erosion of protective marshlands, barrier islands and protective tree lines compromised by brackish water intrusion, while shipping lanes carved out by industry have stripped lines of defence from powerful storms.
The hurricane is threatening a centre of the US energy industry, and 84 per cent of Gulf oil production and an estimated 61 per cent of natural gas production has been shut down, with close to 300 platforms evacuated.
Laura has already killed nearly two dozen people on the island of Hispaniola, including 20 in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic, where it knocked out power and caused intense flooding.