More than 585,000 people in Texas and Louisiana were ordered to evacuate on Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Laura, which the National Hurricane Center projects will strengthen into a Category 3 storm before making landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Forecasters said the Gulf Coast will likely see flooding, high winds, and dangerous storm surge that could submerge entire neighborhoods. National Hurricane Center Deputy Director Ed Rappaport told The Associated Press the Gulf waters are "warm enough everywhere there to support a major hurricane, Category 3 or even higher. The waters are very warm where the storm is now and will be for the entire path up until the Gulf Coast."
About 385,000 residents were ordered to leave Beaumont, Galveston, and Port Arthur in Texas, while 200,000 residents of Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana were also told to evacuate. As of Tuesday evening, Laura is 435 miles southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and is moving west-northwest at 17 mph with peak winds of 85 mph. Earlier this week, the storm killed 20 people in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic.
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