LIVE BLOG: Hurricane Laura updates for SWLA

LIVE BLOG: Hurricane Laura updates for SWLA
Tracking Laura

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The latest on Hurricane Laura in SWLA.

Click HERE to watch our live feed of coverage.

8:00 p.m. 101,897 Louisiana residents reported to be without power.

6:20 p.m. Crews bring fire to smolder at BioLab, precautionary shelter in place remains in effect.

5:20 p.m. FEMA working to mobilize teams and supplies.

5 p.m. Interview with FEMA Communications Director Marty Bahamonde

FEMA Communications Director, Marty Bahamonde

3:10 p.m. Damage to McNeese Football Stadium and Baseball Field

McNeese Football Stadium Damage
McNeese Football Stadium Damage (Source: KPLC)
McNeese Football Stadium Damage
McNeese Football Stadium Damage (Source: KPLC)
McNeese Football Stadium Damage
McNeese Football Stadium Damage (Source: KPLC)
McNeese Football Stadium Damage
McNeese Football Stadium Damage (Source: KPLC)
McNeese Football Stadium Damage
McNeese Football Stadium Damage (Source: KPLC)
McNeese Football Stadium Damage
McNeese Football Stadium Damage (Source: KPLC)

3:00 p.m. Due to the severe weather impacts associated with Hurricane Laura, Waste Management has canceled all residential commercial collection services today through the remainder of this week, in parishes across Southwest Louisiana. Waste Management is currently assessing damage and accessibility in order to determine the resumption of service schedules. These notices of suspended service include all residential and commercial customers serviced by Waste Management in the following parishes:

  • Calcasieu Parish
  • Cameron Parish
  • Jefferson Davis Parish
  • Beauregard Parish
  • Allen Parish

2:25 p.m. The Chennault water plant in Lake Charles was destroyed by Laura, according to Mayor Nic Hunter. This places a severe tax on our water supply in the area. As a result, officials are asking residents not to return to Lake Charles if at all possible for the time being.

Once roads are made safe officials say it will be fine for residents to drive in and survey the damage to their homes and businesses but that they should not stay until the water situation can be resolved.

1:10 p.m. Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President, Tony Guillory, gives his thoughts on Hurricane Laura’s impact on Lake Charles.

Tony Guillory speaks on Laura's impact

1:00 p.m. Vernon Parish residents are lined up to get back to their homes.

Vernon Parish residents are lining the roads trying to return home.
Vernon Parish residents are lining the roads trying to return home. (Source: Olyvia Johnson)

12:40 p.m. According to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, many schools across the parish have been damaged by the storm. They are still in the early stages of assessing all of the damage.

Once the School Board can determine the degree of the damages they will decide on their next steps. They plan to release some information for families this weekend.

12:20 p.m. Damage in Leesville

Damage in Leesville
Damage in Leesville (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage in Leesville
Damage in Leesville (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage in Leesville
Damage in Leesville (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage in Leesville
Damage in Leesville (Source: KPLC viewer)

12:10 p.m. Most SWLA residents are without power as crews continue to assess the damage.

These are the estimated power outages for the following parishes:

Calcasieu - 102,867

Cameron - 1,972

Allen - 11,475

Jeff Davis - 11,032

Beauregard - 19,618

Vernon - 14,702

Total SWLA - 161,666

SWLA power outages
SWLA power outages (Source: https://poweroutage.us/)

12:00 p.m. Hurricane Laura has now been downgraded to a tropical storm as it works its way inland.

11:50 a.m. The Westlake chemical fire has been confirmed to be from BioLab. The gas that is leaking from the lab is a type of chlorine.

Officials say that residents in Moss Bluff, Westlake, and Sulphur should shelter in place. If you have a strong chlorine smell in your home then officials say you may want to consider evacuating to a safer area.

If you have significant damage to your home then it is not safe to take shelter in and you need to evacuate the area. If you are in a car or in your home in that area, do not run an air-conditioner.

11:40 a.m. Damage in Westlake

Westlake Damage
Westlake Damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Westlake Damage
Westlake Damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Westlake Damage
Westlake Damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Westlake Damage
Westlake Damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Westlake Damage
Westlake Damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Westlake Damage
Westlake Damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Westlake Damage
Westlake Damage (Source: KPLC viewer)

11:15 a.m. More damage from Lake Charles and across SWLA.

Damage in Dry Creek
Damage in Dry Creek (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage in Dry Creek
Damage in Dry Creek (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage in Dry Creek
Damage in Dry Creek (Source: KPLC viewer)
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder (Source: Robbie Daniels)
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder (Source: Robbie Daniels)
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder (Source: Robbie Daniels)
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder
Lee Eason Road in DeRidder (Source: Robbie Daniels)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)
SWLA Damage
SWLA Damage (Source: KPLC)

11:00 a.m. The South’s Defenders monument at Lake Charles city hall was knocked down during the storm.

Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm
Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm (Source: KPLC)
Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm
Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm (Source: KPLC)
Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm
Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm (Source: KPLC)
Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm
Lake Charles South's Defenders monument knocked down by storm (Source: KPLC)

10:28 a.m. Sulphur and Westlake have issued a shelter in place for the city due to the chemical fire in Westlake.

10:00 a.m. State Police are investigating reports of a possible chemical fire at one of the plants in Westlake. I-10 has been blocked off near the facility around mile marker 26.

Officials say there is a fire at a chemical plant in Westlake. Video shows smoke from the fire rolling north across I-10.
Officials say there is a fire at a chemical plant in Westlake. Video shows smoke from the fire rolling north across I-10. (Source: KPLC)

9:17 a.m. Hurricane Laura downgraded to a Catagory 1 storm as it works its way inland.

9:15 a.m. More damage from across SWLA.

A home in Sweet Lake
A home in Sweet Lake (Source: KPLC)
SWLA damage
SWLA damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Oakdale damage
Oakdale damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Oakdale damage
Oakdale damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Oakdale damage
Oakdale damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage in Rosepine area
Damage in Rosepine area (Source: KPLC viewer)

9:00 a.m. Another view of Lake Charles’s damage.

Golden Corral in Lake Charles
Golden Corral in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC viewer)
Lake Charles damage
Lake Charles damage (Source: KPLC viewer)
First Baptist Church in downtown Lake Charles
First Baptist Church in downtown Lake Charles (Source: KPLC viewer)
Home on Pine St. in Lake Charles
Home on Pine St. in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC viewer)
Hodges St. in Lake Charles
Hodges St. in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Home Furniture in Lake Charles
Home Furniture in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)

8:50 a.m. Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter says there have been no reports of deaths as a result of the storm in Lake Charles. He says while there seems to be less water damage than hurricane Rita had the wind damage is much worse.

Mayor Hunter advises residents who evacuated to stay out of the city for now until emergency crews can make the city safe to travel through. Wind damage has downed many of the power lines and created a large amount of debris.

8:45 a.m. View of damage to the Sulphur area.

Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage (Source: KPLC)
Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage (Source: KPLC)
Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage (Source: KPLC)
Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage (Source: KPLC)
Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage (Source: KPLC)
Sulphur damage
Sulphur damage (Source: KPLC)

8:35 a.m. Emergency crews are currently clearing paths along roads so that emergency vehicles can move through.

Authorities ask residents to stay off the roads and ask those that evacuated not to return at this time so that the area can be made safe.

8:20 a.m. Governor John Edwards confirms the first death in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Laura. A 14-year-old girl was killed when a tree collapsed on her home. The location is currently unknown. More reports of deaths as a result of the storm are expected.

7:50 a.m. Downtown Lake Charles Damage

Lake Charles downtown damage
Downtown Lake Charles damage
Downtown Lake Charles damage (Source: KPLC)
Downtown Lake Charles damage
Downtown Lake Charles damage (Source: KPLC)
Downtown Lake Charles damage
Downtown Lake Charles damage (Source: KPLC)
Downtown Lake Charles damage
Downtown Lake Charles damage (Source: KPLC)
Downtown Lake Charles damage
Downtown Lake Charles damage (Source: KPLC)

7:35 a.m. KPLC’s fallen tower

KPLC's fallen tower
KPLC's fallen tower (Source: KPLC)
KPLC's fallen tower
KPLC's fallen tower (Source: KPLC)
KPLC's fallen tower
KPLC's fallen tower (Source: KPLC)

7:25 a.m. Damage in Lake Charles

Damage along Ryan St. Lake Charles
Damage along Ryan St. Lake Charles (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage along Ryan St. Lake Charles
Damage along Ryan St. Lake Charles (Source: KPLC viewer)
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles
Ryan street near Prien in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Fallen CBS tower in Lake Charles
Fallen CBS tower in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Tobacco plus on Nelson in Lake Charles
Tobacco plus on Nelson in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Tuten park in Lake Charles
Tuten park in Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Panorama music house
Panorama music house (Source: KPLC)
Panorama music house
Panorama music house (Source: KPLC)
Downtown Lake Charles
Downtown Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)

7:20 a.m. Damage in Sulphur

Sulphur Damage
Sulphur Damage (Source: KPLC)
Sulphur Damage
Sulphur Damage (Source: KPLC)
Sulphur Damage
Sulphur Damage (Source: KPLC)

7:15 a.m. Damage in Lake Charles

Muellers damage in downtown Lake Charles
Muellers damage in downtown Lake Charles (Source: KPLC)
Gigi's Fitness damage
Gigi's Fitness damage (Source: KPLC)
Cumulus radio station
Cumulus radio station (Source: KPLC)

7:00 a.m. Daylight in Crowley

Daylight in Crowley after hurricane Laura

6:15 a.m. Dick Gremillion with Calcasieu OHSEP says authorities will begin surveying damage in the next couple hours once damage dies down.

Authorities ask residents that rode out the storm to stay home so that streets are clear for emergency crews and to text instead of call because towers may be damaged limiting service.

If residents have an emergency they should call 911. Emergency crews will respond once they are able to get back on the roads.

5:00 a.m. More damage from across SWLA

Wind damage in Carylss
Wind damage in Carylss (Source: KPLC viewer)
Wind damage in Carlyss
Wind damage in Carlyss (Source: KPLC viewer)
Trees down in DeRidder
Trees down in DeRidder (Source: KPLC viewer)
Damage at Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office
Damage at Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office (Source: KPLC)
Damage at Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office
Damage at Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office (Source: KPLC)

4:00 a.m. Windows blown out at Capitol One building downtown.

Windows blow out at Capital One building
Windows blow out at Capital One building (Source: @tbrite89)

3 a.m. Top blows off of St. Pat’s skybridge.

Portion of St. Pat's skybridge blown off in Hurricane Laura.
Portion of St. Pat's skybridge blown off in Hurricane Laura. (Source: KPLC viewer)

2:45 p.m. Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats says lots of trees down that he can say. Says he rode Rita out in the same building. “That was a cakewalk compared to this.”

2:40 a.m. Vinton Mayor Kenny Stinson is at Vinton City Hall. He says they are seeing the worst of it. Trim coming off City Hall.

2:30 a.m. Some views of Hurricane Laura as it moves through Lake Charles.

Hurricane Laura
Hurricane Laura
Hurricane Laura: Downtown Lake Charles at 2 a.m.
Water rising in Sulphur
Water rising in Sulphur (Source: KPLC viewer)
Powerful winds batter DeQuincy during Hurricane Laura

1:45 p.m. At least 115,000 without power in Southwest Louisiana.

1 a.m. Laura makes landfall near Cameron as extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane. https://www.kplctv.com/2020/08/26/hurricane-laura-expected-become-devastating-category-storm/

Powerful winds begin to do damage across SWLA.

Powerful winds cause damage in Moss Bluff

12:20 p.m. If you stayed, get to your safe place! Stay away from windows and doors!

Midnight update: FROM National Hurricane Center: Northern eyewall of Laura moving over Cameron Parish. Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding occurring in SWLA.

11:45 p.m. Thousands now without power in SWLA.

11:00 p.m. Update from the National Hurricane Center.

11:30 p.m. Conditions beginning to worsen in Lake Charles. Stay put and stay safe if you stayed!

10:45 p.m. More than 6,000 without power in Calcasieu.

More than 6,000 without power in Calcasieu as of 10:45 p.m.
More than 6,000 without power in Calcasieu as of 10:45 p.m. (Source: Entergy)

10:40 p.m. From Jillian Corder: Just a few minutes after our interview with Sheriff Tony Mancuso, the rain and wind started to really pick up.The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has closed all the storm shutters and only one door remains accessible. Soon all the storm doors will be closed. There are dozens of deputies here tonight. We’ve all been given life jackets should conditions warrant us leaving at any point.

10:30 p.m. Latest update shows Hurricane Laura a high-end Category 4; 75 miles from Lake Charles

FROM CAMERON PARISH:

75 miles from Port Arthur, TX and Lake Charles.

The eyewall will be making landfall between midnight and 2 am. East of the center of circulation will see the highest storm surge and strongest winds.Expect to see winds of 120+ mph near Lake Charles as the eyewall moves through the area.

Winds of 75 to 100+ mph are expected in southeast Texas. Winds of 50 to 75 mph are expected in south central Louisiana.

Storm surge in Lake Charles will be delayed until closer to sunrise. The combination of surge and rainfall will likely cause catastrophic flooding in this region.

If southeast Texas can stay west of the center of circulation, storm surge will be delayed until closer to sunrise as well. The storm surge will be in the 5 to 8 ft range in southeast Texas.

Storm surge in Vermilion Bay region has the potential to be in the 10 to 15 ft range

10:20 p.m. Tornado warnings keep coming.

10 p.m. Latest update on Laura shows the hurricane right on the coast of Cameron.

Hurricane Laura 10 p.m. Aug. 26 update
Hurricane Laura 10 p.m. Aug. 26 update (Source: National Hurricane Center)

9:50 p.m. 1,100 Entergy customers without power in Calcasieu.

As of 10 p.m., 1,100 Entergy customers without power in Calcasieu.
As of 10 p.m., 1,100 Entergy customers without power in Calcasieu. (Source: Entergy)

9:40 p.m. I-10 closed in both directions.

Interstate 10 in southwest Louisiana is now closed to traffic http://wwwapps.dotd.la.gov/administration/announcements/Announcement.aspx?key=24171

Posted by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

9:23 p.m. Tornado Warning including Cameron Parish, LA, Vermilion Parish, LA until 9:45 p.m.

9:15 p.m. All of SWLA under Tornado Watch. A watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado. A warning means what appears to be a tornado has been spotted.

9 p.m. Tornado Warning including Cameron Parish, LA, Vermilion Parish, LA until 9:15 p.m.

8:55 p.m. Update in DeRidder

Pinewood Elementary School Shelter is at full capacity with 75 people and is being closed. Anyone still seeking shelter should go to First Pentecostal Church at 120 Mahlon St in DeRidder and that shelter is getting close to capacity and within the hour both will be locked down.

8:29 p.m. I-10 westbound shut down from Texas state line to Atchafalaya Bridge

8:25 p.m. We are about six hours from landfall.

8:20 p.m. From Cameron Parish OEP

The eye of category 4 Hurricane Laura is 95 miles from Lake Charles and 95 miles from Port Arthur. It is moving north-northwest at 15 mph. Maximum winds are 150 mph, just below category 5 strength.Tropical storm force winds are now approaching the I-10 corridor in Louisiana. Hurricane force winds will begin near the coast in the next 2 to 4 hours.One large rain band is moving into the I-10 corridor now, and very heavy rain will be moving onshore over the next several hours.

8 p.m. The latest in Lake Charles.

Rain starting to pick up in Southwest Louisiana ahead of Laura

EVACUATIONS

· Calcasieu has issued a mandatory evacuation.

· Cameron has issued a mandatory evacuation.

· Allen Parish has issued a voluntary evacuation.

· Beauregard Parish has issued a voluntary evacuation.

· Jeff Davis has issued a voluntary evacuation.

CURFEWS

Calcasieu Parish: Beginning Wednesday, 7 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Beauregard Parish: Dusk till dawn curfew in effect

Jeff Davis Parish: Beginning Thursday, Sunset to sunrise.

Merryville: Beginning Wednesday, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Vernon Parish: All of Vernon Parish from 10 p.m. until the Chief and Sheriff advise it is safe to travel.

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