In Louisiana, Hurricane Laura roared ashore early this morning as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing storm surges up to 20 feet and sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. It’s the strongest storm to hit Louisiana in over a century. The storm made landfall south of the city of Lake Charles near high tide, bringing what meteorologists called an “unsurvivable” wall of water as high as a two-story building. Hundreds of thousands evacuated ahead of the storm, but emergency workers say 150 residents of Cameron Parish refused to leave their homes. Their fate remains unknown.
As the storm bore down on the Gulf, the oil and gas industry scrambled to secure refineries and shut about 300 offshore drilling platforms, taking over a million-and-a-half barrels of oil per day off the market and raising fears over new oil spills. The storm arrived almost exactly 15 years after Hurricane Katrina struck southeastern Louisiana, leaving 80% of New Orleans under water. It’s the seventh named storm to make landfall in the United States so far this year — a record pace for late August.