MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Laura closing in on the northwest Gulf Coast.
Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding are expected Wednesday night and early Thursday.
At 11 p.m. Wednesday, Hurricane Laura was about 75 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Laura is moving toward the north-northwest near 15 mph.
A turn toward the north is expected by early Thursday, and a northward motion should continue through the day.
A northeastward to east-northeastward motion is expected Thursday night and Friday.
On the forecast track, Laura will make landfall along the southwest Louisiana coast within the next few hours and move inland within that area early Thursday.
The center of Laura is forecast to move over northwestern Louisiana on Thursday, across Arkansas Thursday night, and over the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph with higher gusts.
No significant change in strength is likely before landfall.
Rapid weakening is expected after Laura moves inland.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.
A sustained wind of 43 mph (69 km/h) and a gust to 49 mph were recently reported by a National Ocean Service station at Texas Point, Texas, at Sabine Pass.
A wind gust to 58 mph was recently reported at Cameron, Louisiana.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- Freeport Texas to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- San Luis Pass Texas to Intracoastal City Louisiana
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Sargent Texas to San Luis Pass
- East of Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- East of Intracoastal City to west of Morgan City Louisiana