Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall today with life-threatening storm surges that could lead to potentially catastrophic results in the areas that span from San Luis Pass, Texas to the mouth of the Mississippi River. It could also present damage to the affected areas upwards of 30 miles inland from the coastline, reported The National Hurricane Center.
Laura has intensified to a Category 3 hurricane and has the potential for wind speeds upwards of 111 mph. Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall almost exactly three years ago on August 25, 2017, devastated the areas of Rockport and Fulton, Texas. These counties took a major hit from the storm due to winds gusts that clocked in as high as 145 mph, reported Weather.gov. The two storms share many similar qualities, with the potential for devastating results.
Harvey slammed into the coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds ranging from 130-156 mph. At this wind level, homes in the area sustained catastrophic damage, trees were snapped in half and power poles came down due to winds and rain. Texas residents in the areas devastated by Harvey were displaced for months after the storm, which caused about $125 billion in damage and was the second-most costly hurricane to hit the mainland of the United States since 1900, reported Weather.gov.
Hurricane Laura is expected to generate winds of 111-129 mph and has been classified as Category 3. This storm has the potential for extensive damage to homes and surrounding areas, will likely knock out power, and cause widespread flooding. According to the National Hurricane Center, electricity and fresh water in the area could be unavailable for several days to weeks as residents recover.
Hurricane Harvey dumped 40 inches of rain in Texas when it made landfall. It stalled over areas south and southeast of the state for several days, producing catastrophic flash and river flooding. Southeast Texas received more than 40 inches of rain in less than 48 hours, reported Weather.gov. The storm surge from Harvey led to increased water and tide levels, with some more than 12 feet above ground level.
Hurricane Laura is expected to drop anywhere from 10 to 15 inches of rain at its core, although local rainfall could be higher, according to a projection map from the National Hurricane Center. There is also a probability of flash flooding due to the impact of heavy rainfall in the area.
When Harvey made landfall in 2017, winds were sustained at upwards of 130 mph at its eyewall. Its highest gusts were recorded at 145 mph. This amount of wind, in varying degrees, lasted for 24 hours until gusts lessened to 40 mph on the third day the storm ravaged the state of Texas, reported World Vision.
Hurricane Laura will likely bring winds upwards of 90 mph upon landfall. Surrounding areas around the eyewall will experience gusts anywhere from 20 to 80 mph. These sustained winds will reportedly cover the areas that include Lake Charles, Louisiana through Galveston, Texas.