Hurricane Laura makes landfall in Louisiana as Category 3 major storm

Hurricane Laura pummeled the Gulf Coast on Thursday morning with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and storm surge waters, exceeding 9 feet in some parts of Louisiana.

Laura slightly weakened from a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds to a Category 3 after making landfall around 2 a.m. eastern time, near Cameron, Louisiana. The storm is 30 miles north-northwest of Lake Charles and moving north at 15 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update.

“At the time of landfall, Laura was a ferocious looking hurricane with a clear circular eye, an intense eyewall, and tightly-coiled surrounding spiral bands,” the NHC said.

Laura has “unsurvivable” storm surge, according to the NHC, capable of penetrating 40 miles inland from the Louisiana-Texas coast, as much as 20 feet high in some places. Thus far, most areas around the coast have received surge levels higher than 3 feet, but certain areas have recorded over 9 feet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s storm surge map.

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