Hurricane Laura, Now Cat. 4, Expected to Cause ‘Unsurvivable Storm Surge’

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Hurricane Laura was expected to cause catastrophic damage and “unsurvivable storm surge” to the Gulf Coast near the Texas and Louisiana border after strengthening on Wednesday to a Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said.

Laura, located 200 miles (320 km) south-southeast of Port Arthur, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon, had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (220 km per hour) and was expected to pack winds of up to 145 mph (233 kph) before landfall on Wednesday night, the Miami-based forecaster said.

Some 620,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders in Louisiana and Texas.

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