10:00 am update WATCH LIVE:
A strengthening Laura is now expected to reach Category 4 strength later this afternoon, before making landfall as a strong Category 4 storm in Cameron Parish with winds up at 145 mph.
The storm is in the process of developing a well defined eye and it should be apparent by the middle of the day on Wednesday, indicating that Laura is rapidly intensifying.
There aren't many changes to the overall track of the storm and landfall is anticipated to be right along the border between Sabine Pass and Cameron, although it should be noted that a small wobble could lead to major changes in impacts.
This approach and this type of storm is going to lead to catastrophic storm surge, this is going to pose a major threat to both life and property and residents who haven't done so should consider leaving.
Remember that these areas may not be able to receive services for a significant amount of rain and even if you are above the water you may be an island, which would mean emergency officials would not be able to reach you.
This could be the biggest storm surge threat the Gulf Coast in at least a decade, certainly for Louisiana we haven't seen a threat like this since Ike in 2008.
Storm surge is going to be roughly 15-20 feet for Cameron and southern Calcasieu Parish, 10-15 from the Rockerfella Wildlife Refuge to Intracoastal City and surge along the Vermilion Bay will be around 8-12 feet with water approaching communities such as New Iberia and Abbeville.
At landfall winds around the eye are going to be around 145 mph, with gusts approaching 155 mph, along the eye wall as hurricane winds stretch out about 40 miles and tropical storm force winds over 100 miles.
Winds in eastern and central Acadiana will be sustained around 30-50 mph, but those winds will be exponentially worse the further west you go and the wind gusts in Acadiana will be around 40-60 mph, and in western Acadiana could be between 80-100 mph.
Those type of winds can cause down trees and power lines, and even cause damage to roofs and structures (particularly as a result of flying debris).
All of Acadiana could expect 5-10" of rain on average with isolated areas picking up 15" depending on where those rain bands begin to set up as the storm moves to the north.
The rain will likely continue through the majority of the day on Thursday so well after landfall the threat for flash flooding will remain as moisture gets pulled in from a lifting Laura.
Remember that all of us at KATC are in this with you, we all call Acadiana home, and we'll be with you through this storm.
As conditions deteriorate we will get that information out to you so stick with us as we go through what is sure to be a long night, and we'll all get through this together.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
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