Wednesday, August 26, Hurricane Laura is expected to upgrade to a Category 4 storm as it makes landfall tonight and into the early hours of Thursday with winds up to 130 mph. The hurricane has increased in strength by 70% in the past 24 hours. Anticipated 15-20ft swells are causing some experts to warn that this will be “unsurvivable,” and agencies are urging residents to evacuate immediately. 

More than half of a million people have been ordered to evacuate along the Texas and Louisiana coasts with the likelihood of widespread devastation. Many Louisiana residents have made their way to the local civic centers to wait for evacuation busses ahead of the storm. Due to COVID and CDC regulations, shelters have limited capacity with decreased beds, and many people are still looking for shelter. 

According to The Weather Channel reports, the “Storm surge could penetrate as much as 30 miles inland in southwest Louisiana”, with “an inland flood risk as far north and east as Arkansas and the Ohio and Tennessee valleys” including isolated tornadoes. 

Extended periods of power outages are expected, power crews are heading to the areas ahead of the storm. It is warned that this is a life-threatening storm event. Please follow the evacuation instructions of your local officials. 

NECHAMA will continue to monitor Hurricane Laura in order to determine our next best action. Your donations are critical at this time to ensure we are able to assist immediately in the aftermath of the hurricane.