Hurricane Laura slammed parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast early Thursday with winds of 150 mph. Laura left behind flooded coastal communities, widespread wind damage and disruption in freight flows due to closed roads and ports.
Even though the worst of the storm is gone and it has moved well inland, cleanup and rebuilding could take several months at the least, especially in the hardest-hit area of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
State officials said at least six deaths in Louisiana were storm-related. Four people were killed by falling trees, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards. The other two deaths were a man who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator inside his home and another who drowned when a boat sank during the storm.
Some sections of Interstate 10 are still closed from Lafayette, Louisiana, westward to the Texas border.
More than 750,000 customers have no electricity across Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. More than half a million of them are in Louisiana.
The remnants of Laura — now a non-tropical, low pressure system over northeastern Arkansas — will remain a threat this weekend for inland areas as it moves through the Mid-South and toward the East Coast.
Places like Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, Tupelo, Mississippi, and Huntsville, Alabama, could get hit by severe winds, tornadoes and flash flooding Friday and Friday night. Periods of heavy rainfall could result in totals of 4 or 5 inches for parts of northeastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, western and central Tennessee, southeastern Missouri, as well as western and central Kentucky, leading to potential flash flooding.
Saturday, the severe weather risk shifts eastward to the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic states, including places like Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. The remnants of Laura will then move out to sea Sunday, taking the threat for severe weather with it.
Due to disruptions to the freight market from Hurricane Laura, FreightWaves is providing free access to key features of SONAR through Friday, Sept. 4. Click here to learn more.