National Weather Service: Prepare for a Category 3 hurricane with Laura

Published 10:22 am Monday, August 24, 2020

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Marco is weakening quickly and is not expected to cause any weather problems in Southeast Texas today or Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

What will be Hurricane Laura is a different story.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Roger Erickson said Laura is expected to make landfall between Southeast Texas and south central Louisiana as a category two hurricane late Wednesday or early Thursday.

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“Everyone should be preparing for a category three hurricane due to the typical hurricane forecast errors, especially when it comes to wind speeds,” Erickson said.

On Monday morning, Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie signed a Declaration of Local Disaster due to the imminent threat of Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Storm Marco weather systems.

Here are the expected weather impacts from Laura:

Winds: Hurricane force winds will be possible across the region starting late Wednesday and continuing Thursday.

Storm Surge: At the coast, water could be over 10 feet above ground level. Depending on where Laura makes landfall, storm surge can back up rivers and bayous and flood over 30 miles inland.

Rainfall: Depending on where the rain bands form, 5 to 10 inches with locally 15 inches will be possible starting Wednesday into Thursday.

Tornadoes: Tornadoes will be possible in the eyewall as the hurricane approaches the coast, as well as outer rain bands.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and President Trump have granted a Federal Emergency Declaration request for Public Assistance Category B (Emergency Protective Measures).

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support at 75 percent federal funding. The Governor submitted this request yesterday.

“Texas is grateful to President Trump and our partners at FEMA for quickly granting this Federal Emergency Declaration,” said Abbott. “As Tropical Storms Marco and Laura head towards the coast, the State of Texas is working with local and federal partners to ensure our communities have the resources they need to respond to these storms.”