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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11:19 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Louisiana's National Guard is clearing roads in Lake Charles

The Louisiana National Guard tweeted photos of its members beginning to clear roads in Lake Charles.

Yesterday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the full Louisiana National Guard had been activated ahead of Hurricane Laura. The last time the state activated the full guard was for Hurricane Issac in 2012, he said.

2:21 p.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Hardin County in Texas asks residents who evacuated not to rush home

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Officials in Hardin County, Texas, are asking residents who evacuated not to rush home. 

The mandatory evacuation in the county will lift this afternoon, but Judge Wayne McDaniel said the area does have reports of damage and power outages.  

“I know many are in a hurry to get home, but I assure you there is no need to rush back home today. Downed trees and power lines are being cleared and, again, many of the services that we are accustomed to are not available today and we do not currently have,” McDaniel posted on his Facebook page.  

"Over 10,300 Hardin County homes and businesses are currently without electricity and we have no estimate as to when it will be restored,” he added.   

Gas stations and grocery stores still remain closed, and without power, they could remain closed for quite some time. 

“Although Hardin County dodged a bullet on major storm damages, our neighbors to the southeast, east and northeast were not so lucky. Please keep them in your prayers – Hardin County stands ready to assist them in any way that we can,” McDaniel said. 

11:08 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Louisiana governor reports state's first death from Hurricane Laura

From CNN's Devon M. Sayers in Atlanta. 

A 14-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on her home, marking the state's first hurricane-related death, the governor's office reported.

Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for the governor's office, said they “do expect that there could be more fatalities.”  

The death took place in Vernon Parish, according to Shauna Sanford with Gov. John Bel Edwards office. 

11:05 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Laura is weakening, but strong wind gusts are still expected

Hurricane Laura continues to travel northward through Louisiana, and the storm is now about 55 miles southeast of Shreveport, according to the National Hurricane Center's 11 a.m. ET advisory.

The National Hurricane Center said that although Laura is weakening, "strong wind gusts are likely to spread over northern Louisiana and Arkansas into this evening."

The center warned that "high water levels persist" along parts of the coast.

10:58 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Louisiana governor: Hurricane Laura's threat is "far from over"

From CNN's Devon Sayers

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards urged residents to remain inside as Hurricane Laura travels northward through the state, saying that the storm was still dangerous.

“The threat Laura poses to Louisiana is far from over” he tweeted.

10:52 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Houston isn't reporting any impacts from Hurricane Laura

The City of Houston is not reporting any impacts from Hurricane Laura, according to a statement from the city. 

“Houstonians who evacuated are free to safely return home,” the statement said. 

Non-essential city employees will return to their normal schedule today and all city offices will be open, the statement says.  

Overnight, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted this:

 

10:34 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

A CNN meteorologist answers your questions about Hurricane Laura

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

Hurricane Laura roared across the Louisiana coastline early Thursday as a Category 4 storm, bringing 150-mph winds and devastating destruction.

Authorities warn a “life-threatening” storm surge continues along much of the Louisiana coastline with the risk of strong winds, flooding and possible tornadoes.

The damage is only beginning to come into full view as day breaks but more than 600,000 people are already without power.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is answering viewer questions.

Watch the video here:

10:27 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Texas county urges evacuated residents to give crews time to clear roads before returning home

Jefferson County in Texas is set to lift its evacuation order at 11 a.m. ET, according to a post on the county Office of Emergency Management page.  

The county borders Louisiana to the east and includes Port Arthur and Beaumont.  

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, along with local law enforcement agencies “are assessing roadways and trying to clear debris.” 

“There are several areas throughout our region who have no power at this time. Electrical crews need first priority. It is dangerous to drive on the roadways that have not been cleared. Downed power lines with live wires, downed trees and other random debris could cause you to get injured,” the post says.   

The office asks that residents give crews time to clear the roadways before returning to their homes.

10:21 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Galveston, Texas, says it was "spared" from Laura and lifts its evacuation order

The Shark Shack Beach Bar and Grill is boarded up on the nearly deserted Strand Street in Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, August 26.
The Shark Shack Beach Bar and Grill is boarded up on the nearly deserted Strand Street in Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, August 26. Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP

The City of Galveston is lifting its evacuation and curfew orders this morning after the city “was spared the destruction of Hurricane Laura.” 

The city said it “did not sustain wind or storm damage, and water is receding in low-lying areas that experienced street flooding,” according to a post on Facebook. Additionally, there are no major power outages to report.  

“We're feeling very fortunate this morning,” the city said.  

“While we feel thankful and lucky this morning, our thoughts are with our neighbors along the upper Texas Coast and Louisiana. The City has reached out to our various partners to see how we may be able to provide help to those affected by Hurricane Laura," Galveston added in the post.