Hurricane Laura was updated to a Category 4 on Wednesday afternoon
UPDATE: 8/26: Hurricane Laura has intensified into a Category 4 storm.
According to CBS News, the hurricane is expected to remain a Category 4 through landfall and then weaken.
Hurricane Laura is heading toward the Gulf Coast and is predicted to make landfall late Wednesday, Aug. 26, or early Thursday, Aug. 27 as a Category 3 hurricane.
Laura strengthened from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday morning, reported The New York Times.
According to The Washington Post, Laura is “most likely to come ashore near the Texas-Louisiana border, however the storm’s exact tract is still coming into focus, and areas to the south, through Galveston and Houston as well as to the east around Morgan City could also see a direct strike.”
Tropical storm force winds extend 175 miles from the storm’s center, and the National Hurricane Center is forecasting “life-threatening” surge in water above normally dry land at the coast. This could cause 7 to 11 feet of inundation in hard-hit areas, The Washington Post reported. Additionally, wind gusts over 100 mph close to where Laura makes landfall are likely.
As of Tuesday morning, the National Hurricane Center expanded hurricane watches to include coastal parts of Harris County, according to The Washington Post. Heavy rainfall is predicted across the west-central Gulf Coast with 4 to 8 inches falling over a broad area and up to a foot locally.
According to The New York Times and WWLTV, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards compared Hurricane Laura to Hurricane Rita, which hit the state’s coast in 2005 and caused an estimated $25.2 billion in damage.
Hurricane Laura follows closely behind Tropical Storm Marco, which weakened before making landfall Monday evening.