First Death Reported As Hurricane Laura Moves North

58 minutes ago

Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm along the western coast of Louisiana and upper coast of Texas overnight bringing storm surge, intense winds and widespread power outages to the area. 

One person, a 14-year-old girl, has been reported dead so far.

We'll update here as Laura moves north Thursday.

9:45 a.m. Thursday

A video posted by the Cajun Navy on Facebook shows a dark cloud rising from Lake Charles.

"Fire on the west side of the lake. Gasses crossing I-10," the caption says.

GOHSEP confirms there is a fire in Lake Charles, Calcasieu officials are investigating.

We'll update here as we learn more.

9 a.m. Thursday

Hurricane Laura, now a Category 1 storm, is less than 70 miles from Shreveport, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Maximum sustained winds are at 85 mph and storm surge continues along the coast.

A storm surge warning and a tropical storm warning are in effect from High Island, Texas, to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

A flash flood watch is in effect across Louisiana, and a tornado watch is in effect in New Orleans and other eastern parishes.

Credit National Weather Service

8:30 a.m. Thursday

A 14-year-old girl died when a tree fell on her family’s home in Leesville as Hurricane Laura made landfall, Gov. John Bel Edwards said on MSNBC this morning.

This is the first confirmed death from Hurricane Laura, which made landfall at the Louisiana-Texas border around 1 a.m., bringing storm surge, intense winds and widespread power outages to the western coast of Louisiana and upper coast of Texas late Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

The storm surge came in at about half of what was expected, the Edwards said. But a clear picture of the damage has yet to emerge. It’s not yet safe to fly over and assess the damage.

A search-and-rescue team of about 1,500 people was at the ready as of 7:30 a.m.

Laura is now moving north as a Category 2 hurricane, according to the National Weather Service.

Credit NOAA

Read yesterday's coverage here.