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Laura continues to intensify, 120 mph winds expectd at landfall

Posted at 10:49 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 00:20:11-04

Laura continued to intensify Tuesday night with winds increasing to 90 mph at 10pm.

The forecast track essentially has been unchanged but nudged slightly to the east with landfall in Cameron Parish expected Wednesday night.

Laura is expected to be a powerful category 3 storm with 120 mph winds at landfall and bring the whole host of hurricane hazards to most, if not all, of Acadiana.

No matter what the ultimate track may be, a massive and catastrophic storm surge of up to 9-14 feet is expected for the Cameron and Vermilion Parish coasts, with a 7-11 foot surge expected into Vermilion Bay.

Previous experience dictates that high water marks, including waves will likely approach 15 feet or more across most of our coastline.

Hurricane force winds and wind gusts are expected primarily just west of Lafayette through all of Southwest Louisiana where Hurricane Warnings continue.

Wind gusts across all of Acadiana could reach hurricane strength away from the core of the storm in outer rain bands that run out from the center overnight Wednesday into early Thursday morning.

In genaral, most other areas of Acadiana and farther to the east will likely see sustained winds near 30-50 mph into Wednesday night with gusts up to 65-80 mph possible.

It is important to remember that 24 hours from landfall the National Hurricane Center's Forecast track accuracy can be off by as much as 50-60 miles in either direction, while intensity can be 15 mph off...so those directly impacted by the center of the storm should prepare for a Category 4 storm (130 mph winds or greater).

Rainfall of 5-10" will be likely for most areas of Acadiana with isolated amounts up to 15".

Flooding in low-lying and the usual flood prone areas will be extremely likely.

And because of the storm surge expected along the coast, the Vermilion River in Lafayette will not readily drain into the Gulf of Mexico, so the river is forecast rise and reach at least 13.5 feet, and a flood warning has already been posted in advance of the storm.

Stay with KATC, katc.com, KATC social media for continuous coverage before, during and after the storm.

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