Marco collapses after making landfall, but threat looms from Laura

Marco collapses after making landfall, but threat looms from Laura

Tropical Storm Laura is now the biggest threat as the system is forecast to become a major hurricane in the next 24 to 48 hours before it makes landfall Wednesday night or Thursday morning, with significant impacts expected from Southeast Texas into Southwest Louisiana. In September, Exxon shut its Beaumont refinery in Texas because of flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda.

Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane and could bring wind and heavy rain to New Jersey by the weekend.

Laura has already saturated the Caribbean, with flooding rainfall reported in Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as dozens of building collapses, numerous injuries and at least a dozen fatalities have all been reported by local media.

The remaining names from 2020's list of "Tropical Cyclone Names" are Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, Wilfred.

A reconnaissance aircraft from the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has found that Tropical Storm Laura intensified into a category one hurricane.

But the larger threat to parts of the USA coast looms from Laura, which prompted hurricane watches from Port Bolivar, Texas, near Galveston, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana, west of New Orleans.

Now that it's in the Gulf it's expected to strengthen even more.

Laura hit eastern Cuba on Sunday evening with sustained winds of 95kmh downing trees and ripping flimsy roofing from buildings. It was tracking to the west-northwest at 16 miles per hour.

"It could still change, but we keep on hoping and praying that it keeps on going further west like it's doing", said Fantiny, who manages a restaurant on the island.

Over the weekend, Laura's remnants are predicted to spread rains into the middle-Mississippi, lower OH and Tennessee Valleys.

More than 385,000 residents were told to flee the Texas cities of Beaumont, Galveston and Port Arthur, and others were ordered to evacuate low-lying southwestern Louisiana, where forecasters said more than 11 feet of storm surge topped by waves could submerge entire towns.

A storm surge watch has been issued from San Luis Pass, Texas to Ocean Springs in MS as these areas are at risk of a "life-threatening" storm surge in the next 48 hours, the hurricane center says. Upon arriving at the US Gulf Coast, Laura is expected to bring 4 to 8 inches of rainfall, with an isolated maximum amount of 12 inches along the Texas and Louisiana border.

San Luis Pass, Texas, to Intracoastal City, La.

It is the storm's more risky side.

Early projections show the storm hitting the western coast of Louisiana near the Texas state line, then banking east toward the Carolinas as it moves inland.

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