Atlantic Storm Laura Expected to Become Major Hurricane Before Striking US Gulf Coast - POLSKA УКРАЇНА

More than half a million people along the coastal regions of Texas and Louisiana have been ordered to evacuate their homes as Hurricane Laura heads towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.  The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported late Tuesday night that Laura is located about 655 kilometers from the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana and 695 kilometers of Galveston, Texas. The storm is carrying maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers an hour, making it a Category 1 storm on the five-level scale that measures a storm’s potential destructiveness.   Forecasters at the NHC expect Hurricane Laura to strengthen to a major Category 3 hurricane as it makes its way over the Gulf of Mexico before reaching landfall around the Upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts late Wednesday or early Thursday.A satellite view of Hurricane Laura Aug. 26, 2020.Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for the northwestern Gulf Coast.  The storm could also bring up to 30 centimeters of rain to some parts of Louisiana and Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center.  Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Texas Governor Greg Abbot have issued emergency declarations for their respective states.   In addition to the mandatory evacuation orders in the low-lying regions of Texas and Louisiana, a voluntary evacuation has also been issued for the city of Houston, which was devastated by Hurricane Harvey exactly three years ago this week. Hurricane Laura is also threatening crude oil and natural gas production along the Gulf Coast. More than 300 offshore refineries have been shut down and evacuated, shutting down over 80% of Gulf oil production. Laura is blamed for at least 11 deaths across the island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where it caused flooding Monday evening and knocked out power. The storm also took out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Puerto Rico.   

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