With just hours to go before Hurricane Laura hits the Texas and Louisiana coasts, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned that the storm surge will be “unsurvivable” to anyone who refuses to evacuate.

Hurricane Laura is currently brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, and is forecast to be a Category 4 by the time it makes landfall on Wednesday night local time. A number of coastal cities have ordered residents to evacuate, with Mayor Thurman Bartie of Port Arthur, Texas, saying “if you decide to stay, you’re staying on your own.”

Though Laura is expected to weaken after it makes landfall, the NHC has warned that it will still bring an “unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves.” The surge could “penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline,” the agency added.

Hurricane #Laura is expected to bring 9+ feet of storm surge to parts of #Louisiana and #Texas. If you’re told to evacuate, you need to do so before it’s too late.

Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline.

Satellite footage shows a maelstrom of lightning in the gulf, while winds of up to 125mph (200kph) have been reported. 

For this #WednesdayMorning, take a look at #HurricaneLaura with @NOAA’s #GOESEast satellite as the hurricane’s convection bursts with lightning. As of 8 a.m. EDT, #Laura had winds of 115 mph and was rapidly intensifying in the Gulf of Mexico. Latest:

From land, ominous dark clouds could be seen offshore from the approaching storm.

That gut feeling in your stomach when you know a hurricane of this magnitude is approaching your beautiful city. 6-9ft storm surge in Lake Charles will likely put all of this underwater.

Good morning from Galveston, where everyone is bracing for

Laura has already wreaked havoc on Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic en route to the US, killing at least 23 people. 

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