Hurricane Laura Weakens; Moves Into Arkansas

Hurricane Laura has been downgraded to a tropical depression after six people were killed when the storm made landfall in Louisiana Thursday.

Posted: Aug 23, 2020 9:37 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2020 7:36 AM

LAFAYETTE, La. -- Hurricane Laura has been downgraded to a tropical depression after six people were killed when the storm made landfall in Louisiana Thursday.

The storm maintained hurricane strength for about 11 hours, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, and continues to weaken as it moves through Arkansas, but its tropical moisture will linger around Acadiana.

According to the Associated Press, as of Friday morning, more than 750,000 customers around Louisiana were without power in the wake of the storm, which killed six people.

Lafayette was on the eastern side of the storm, meaning strong winds and heavy rains moved through Acadiana beginning Thursday morning.

For most of Friday morning, Acadiana will see mostly dry conditions. Later Friday afternoon, widespread showers and storms that will, at times, be heavy. This could cause street flooding as the ground is already saturated.

The center of Laura is forecast to move through the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday, and the mid-Atlantic states on Saturday.

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Through Friday, Laura is expected to produce additional rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches across portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, with isolated storm totals of 18 inches over Louisiana. This rainfall will continue to cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams and creeks to overflow their banks, and minor to moderate freshwater river flooding.

On Saturday, Laura is expected to produce 1 to 2 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 3 inches across portions of the central and southern Appalachians, and the Mid-Atlantic States. This rainfall may lead to flash and urban flooding and rapid rises on small streams.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' Chief of Staff confirmed the first fatality as a result of Hurricane Laura Thursday.

The storm surge was expected to be the biggest impact on the area, with many areas seeing more than 10 feet of storm surge.

The Acadia Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness received multiple reports of downed power lines and fallen trees along parish roadways Thursday. Residents are urged to stay put in their homes or shelters as local emergency crews assess the damages.

A large cloud of smoke was reported near a chemical facility in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area just hours after Hurricane Laura made landfall in the state. Gov. Edwards is now advising residents to shelter in place until further notice.

According to the Associated Press, the South's Defenders monument was toppled by the storm outside a courthouse in Lake Charles.

Stay tuned to News15 for the latest details.

Lafayette
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Hi: 70° Lo: 67°
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New Iberia
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Ville Platte
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Abbeville
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Crowley
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Saint Martinville
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Hi: 73° Lo: 68°
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Opelousas
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Low-end severe potential tonight with flooding possible over the coming days

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