Hurricane Laura has strengthened into a Category 4 as it heads for a destructive landfall near the Texas and Louisiana border between 12am and 3am on Thursday morning. A catastrophic storm surge and damaging winds will batter the region and a threat of flooding rain and strong winds will extend well inland.
Residents along the upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts should finish preparations now for a major hurricane strike. Follow any evacuation orders issued by local or state officials.
A storm surge warning is in effect from Freeport, Texas, to the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana..This means a life-threatening storm surge is expected in the next 36 hours. Residents in these areas should heed all evacuation orders and instructions from local emergency management and take necessary precautions to protect life and property. Storm surge estimates are now up to 20 feet for Calcasieu Lake at Lake Charles, which the National Weather Service describes as "unsurvivable". The map below shows where flash flooding generated by this storm is expected over the next several days.
According to a meteorologist from The Weather Channel, parts of Texas and Louisiana where the storm surge hits, "you're going to become part of the ocean and it will be unsurvivable." This uses the same verbiage as the National Weather Service when describing the storm surge in the graphic below.
The current forecast for Central Arkansas is a predicted 3-5" of rain between Thursday afternoon and Friday night. There is currently a Flash Flood Watch scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 27th at 12pm, and in addition, there is also a Tropical Storm Warning that has been issued by the National Weather Service for portions of Southwestern Arkansas as Hurricane Laura makes its way inland.