Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, La., early Thursday as a Category 4 hurricane, delivering a barrage of 150-mile-an-hour winds and a surge of water that was predicted to reach as high as 20 feet. The storm weakened as it moved inland, but remained destructive with strong winds and heavy rain.
In Lake Charles, La., gusts blew out dozens of windows in a high-rise building and ripped the top off a sky bridge, tipped an R.V. on its side, and downed power lines. Utility companies reported that about 404,000 customers in Louisiana and another 104,000 in Texas were without power Thursday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.
Landfall came after officials in both states issued the gravest of warnings about a storm that is among the strongest ever to hit the United States, according to data compiled by Philip Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University who studies hurricanes.
More than 1.5 million people in the coastal regions of Texas and Louisiana were under some form of evacuation orders. For those riding out the storm, there was little to do but hunker down and wait for the winds to die down, allowing search and rescue crews to set out to help those who were stranded.
Windows were blown out in Lake Charles, La.
Trees were uprooted by high winds in Sabine, Pass, Tex.
Laura knocked down power lines in Sabine Pass.
Downed trees in Lake Charles.
Roads were flooded in Sabine Pass.
A damaged gas station in Lake Charles.
The storm came ashore with 150-mile-an-hour winds.
Renee Allred, 19, and her family settled into a bus bound for Baton Rouge as part of an evacuation run the city of Lake Charles.
Cars parked under a highway overpass in Groves, Tex.
A boarded up home in Port Arthur, Tex.