A Louisiana sheriff had some grim advice for those who did not evacuate ahead of the storm.
Hurricane Laura approached the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm earlier in the week. According to the National Hurricane Center, “unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves” were expected in some areas.
Catastrophic damage was expected from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes was expected. Residents in affected areas were instructed to evacuate.
For those who decided not to evacuate, the sheriff’s office in Louisiana’s Vermilion Parish did not hold back on a dire warning.
“Those choosing to stay and face this very dangerous storm must understand that rescue efforts cannot and will not begin until after storm and surge has passed and it is safe to do so,” the sheriff’s office posted to Facebook. “Please evacuate and if you choose to stay and we can’t get to you, write your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put it a ziplock bag in your pocket.”
Upon making landfall, ferocious winds produced more damage than its storm surge, and power to hundreds of thousands was knocked out as roofs were torn off. About 855,000 customers in Texas and Louisiana were left without power, according to PowerOutages.us.
Laura later downgraded to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 80 mph as it was southwest of Little Rock, Arkansas. Gov. Asa Hutchinson asked residents to “pay attention to the weather” as “danger” was coming within the next 24 hours.
Lake Charles was also dealing with its own hardships: a chemical fire due to a chlorine leak at a BioLab facility produced large plumes of smoke that rose into the sky.
Search and rescue personnel have already been deployed. President Donald Trump stated that he will go Texas and Louisiana this weekend to inspect the damage.