Tropical Storm Laura batters Louisiana

By Meg Wagner, Amy Woodyatt and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 9:11 PM ET, Thu August 27, 2020
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7:03 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

It's 5:30 a.m. in Louisiana. Here's the latest on Hurricane Laura.

Powerful Hurricane Laura battered the Louisiana coastline Thursday morning after sweeping ashore as the region's strongest storm in over a century.

If you're just reading in now, here are the latest developments on the storm:

  • Downgraded: Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm, but it has since weakened to a Category 2. It still has winds of 110 mph.
  • More weakening expected: Further weakening will continue, and Laura will likely become a tropical storm later today as it tracks from Louisiana into Arkansas.
  • The storm surge threat: The storm surge for Laura could spread up to 30 miles inland in southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas — reaching all the way to Interstate 10 potentially between Beaumont and Lake Charles. The National Hurricane Center warned the surge could be "unsurvivable" in some areas.
  • Not everyone heeded evacuation warnings: Cameron Parish, Louisiana, was put under a mandatory evacuation, but out of 6,500 residents, 150 have refused to leave, said Ashley Buller, assistant director of Emergency Operations for the parish.
6:29 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Laura is now a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds

From CNN's Dave Hennen

As Hurricane Laura continues to move inland, the weakening trend has continued. Winds are now 110 mph, which makes Laura a strong Category 2 hurricane.

The center, known as the eye of the storm, is located about 45 miles north of Lake Charles.

Further weakening will continue, and Laura will likely become a tropical storm later today as it tracks from Louisiana into Arkansas.