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Hurricane Laura Weakens to Category 2 After Slamming Louisiana as a Cat 4

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Hurricane Laura has been downgraded into a Category 2 storm hours after making landfall in southwestern Louisiana near the Texas border early Thursday morning with Category 4 strength and screaming 150 mph winds. 

The hurricane made landfall near Lake Charles, Louisiana at 1 a.m. CDT as authorities urged more than 580,000 coastal residents to evacuate. Although Hurricane Laura has downgraded to a Category 2, it is still extremely dangerous with 100 mph winds. 

The National Hurricane Center had warned beforehand that Laura could bring an "unsurvivable" storm surge of 20 feet.

More than 290,000 homes and businesses are without power in Louisiana and Texas.  Meanwhile, rescue services are already getting calls for help from those who did not evacuate. 

"There are some people still in town and people are calling ... but there ain’t no way to get to them,” Tony Guillory, president of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, told The Associated Press. 

Officials said search and rescue mission will begin as soon as conditions improve. 


Hurricane Laura intensified into a Category 4 storm while it churched over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. 

 "There are no signs it will stop soon," said the National Hurricane Center.

"Some areas, when they wake up Thursday morning, they're not going to believe what happened," said senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart.

Laura will push water onto more than 450 miles of coastline from Texas to Mississippi. Authorities have issued hurricane warnings from San Luis Pass, Texas to Intracoastal, Louisiana and storm surge warnings from Port Arthur, Texas to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The weather service is warning people to expect catastrophic damage. "Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months," it said.

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CBN News contributor Chuck Holton is waiting out the storm in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He told CBN News' Efrem Graham this morning that conditions will change dramatically overnight. 

"Right now where I'm standing on the shore of Lake Charles is ground zero for this storm as the track shows right now, so that by this time tomorrow, where I'm standing, could be maybe under 14 feet of water."

Operation Blessing is staging supplies in Bristol, Tennessee, ready to roll as soon as Laura hits and people need help. 

CLICK HERE to donate to Operation Blessing's relief effort.


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About The Author


Heather Sells covers wide-ranging stories for CBN News that include religious liberty, ministry trends, immigration, and education. She’s known for telling personal stories that capture the issues of the day, from the border sheriff who rescues migrants in the desert to the parents struggling with a child that identifies as transgender. In the last year, she has reported on immigration at the Texas border, from Washington, D.C., in advance of the Dobbs abortion case, at crisis pregnancy centers in Massachusetts, and on sexual abuse reform at the annual Southern Baptist meeting in Anaheim