Hurricane Laura hit near the border of Texas and Louisiana as a Category 4 storm early Thursday, ripping off roofs, flooding streets and knocking out power to more than half a million people.
It’s the strongest storm to hit the U.S. this year, leading thousands of residents to evacuate the area ahead of its landfall. Forecasters warned the storm was capable of catastrophic damage. At least four deaths have been reported in Louisiana.
Laura weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland, bringing winds, flooding and rainfall over central and northern Louisiana, according to The National Hurricane Center. High water levels continued along parts of the Gulf Coast, according to forecasters.
“It looks like 1,000 tornadoes went through here. It’s just destruction everywhere,” said Brett Geymann, who rode out the storm with three family members in Moss Bluff, near Lake Charles, Louisiana. He described Laura passing over his house with the roar of a jet engine around 2 a.m.