Storm “laura” threatens u.s. Gulf coast – “marco” weakened

Storm 'laura' threatens u.s. gulf coast - 'marco' weakened

After urgent warnings, the extremely dangerous hurricane "laura" hit the u.S. Mainland on the gulf of mexico with wind speeds of 240 kilometers per hour.

In the dark of the night on thursday, the hurricane caused considerable damage in parts of the states of louisiana and texas, which gradually became visible at daybreak: the force of the storm covered roofs, tore away facades of houses and caused power poles and trees to topple down. Sea water flooded the coast far inland.

At least four people died in louisiana, governor john bel edwards told a press conference. All died because trees crashed into houses. It was to be feared that even more victims could be found during the search and rescue operations. In texas, there was initially no indication of fatalities, governor greg abbott told fox news this morning. "That was the primary goal."

The power grid suffered significant damage, edwards said, but also made clear that officials overall had feared a worse scenario. "It is clear that we have not suffered an absolutely catastrophic loss." The lives of thousands and thousands of people, however, had been turned upside down. U.S. President donald trump announced during a visit to the fema disaster agency headquarters that he would likely travel to the affected areas over the weekend.

A whistling sound was heard as the hurricane passed over sulphur in louisiana, hurricane jager josh morgerman wrote on twitter in the early morning hours. One of his videos shows how the storm whipped the rain masses in front of it – in the light of a streetlamp, it looked like fast-moving clouds of fog. People like morgerman put themselves in imminent danger of storms regardless of warnings.

Authorities had told hundreds of thousands of people to get to safety. The closer the storm had come to the U.S. Coast wednesday, with increasing strength, the more urgent the warnings became. "Take cover now," the national hurricane center wrote eventually. It is a "life-threatening situation".

The hurricane sounded like "a looming shower engine," is how a reporter for CNN described the situation in lake charles (louisiana). The hurricane shook even the sturdiest buildings, and shards of glass flew through the air. A chemical plant burned in nearby westlake on thursday. The police said there had been a chlorine gas leak. People still had to stay in their homes.

Louisiana has had traumatic experiences with hurricanes. Almost exactly 15 years ago – on 29. August – "katrina" hit the state: a hurricane of the highest category five with winds of up to 280 kilometers per hour. "Katrina" caused damage of historic proportions; a museum in new orleans commemorates the disaster. A good 80 percent of the main city was flooded. "Katrina" killed more than 1,800 people in total, hundreds were considered missing. There have only been two storms in the U.S. With more deaths. The "okeechobee hurricane" with about 4000 victims was in 1928 and the "galveston hurricane" with up to 12.000 deaths as early as 1900.

Katrina" was followed by "rita" – and "laura" now took a similar path to the hurricane of that time. With a strength of four out of five, the hurricane center called it an "extremely dangerous hurricane". Warned of "devastating" damage and storm surges "that you can’t survive". There will be no electricity and no water for several days or weeks. Violent winds and flooding also threatened the state of arkansas.

Officials had warned that because of flooding, many places might not be accessible until friday or saturday. The sheriff in vermilion parish not far from lake charles had issued a somber note on facebook to people who did not want to leave their homes. "If you decide to stay and we can’t reach you, write down your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put (the note) in a ziplock bag in your pocket." The worst is expected and pray for the best.

"Laura" weakened rapidly over the mainland on thursday, as expected, but remained hazardous. The hurricane had rapidly gained strength over unseasonably warm seawater and was upgraded from category two to category four within hours wednesday. This made "laura" the first very strong hurricane of the season.

U.S. Climate agency NOAA expects 2020 to be a record year for hurricanes. 19 to 25 storms are expected, of which seven to eleven could become hurricanes, three to six even very strong ones with wind speeds of 178 kilometers per hour and more. In an average year, there are twelve storms on the atlantic coast, three of which develop into category three, four or five hurricanes.


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