AFTERMATH: Photos from Port Arthur in the wake of Hurricane Laura

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

PORT ARTHUR, Tx. — Hurricane Laura made landfall with 150 mph winds less than 40 miles east of this town of 54,000 people, leaving hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses damaged in its wake. As flares burned from one of the nation’s largest refineries – Motiva Enterprises – being in shutdown mode due to power outages, residents sifted through debris, avoided downed power lines and tried to pick up the pieces of a continued attack by Mother Nature over the past 15 years.

Hurricane Rita devastated Port Arthur in 2005, then Hurricane Ike struck in 2008. Since then, there has been tropical storms and hurricanes of varying strength but Hurricane Laura is the strongest storm to hit the Gulf Coast in more than a century.

Southeast Texas on alert for Hurricane Laura’s impact

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

BEAUMONT, Tx. — Residents in Southeast Texas are preparing for the strongest hurricane to hit the region since Hurricane Rita in 2005 when high winds caused severe damage to the area’s infrastructure.

Hurricane Laura is predicted to make landfall sometime around 1 a.m. Thursday morning with a bullseye basically on Beaumont as a Category 3 storm, bringing with it a storm surge and minimum sustained winds of 111 mph. Category 3 storms range between 111 mph and 129 mph.

At 4 a,m, Wednesday, Hurricane Laura had reached 110 mph sustained winds and the track still has it hitting Southeast Texas late tonight or early Thursday.

The first mandatory evacuation order went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning in Orange County. Jefferson County followed up with a mandatory evacuation order that went into effect 30-minutes later. Hardin County Judge, Wayne McDaniel, called for a voluntary order at noon but by 2 p.m., he had changed the order to a mandatory evacuation.

Early Tuesday morning, a line of traffic was already starting to form and citizens were filling up their cars

NOTABLE LINKS FOR HURRICANE INFORMATION:

National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Multiple Weather Links at Mike’s Weather Page: https://spaghettimodels.com/

TXDOT Emergency Evacuation Routes: http://gis-txdot.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/txdot-evacuation-routes

TXDOT’s Drive Texas website for road conditions: https://drivetexas.org/#/11/30.3644/-94.3054?future=false

For updates and other evacuation information: SETINFO.ORG

EDITOR’S NOTE: We will be updating throughout the storm with information, photos and videos of the Southeast Texas region. Everyone, please stay safe!