By Jerry Jordan, Editor
ORANGE, Tx. — Downed trees were a common theme in Orange, Tx. as the town is still surrounded by the tall pine timbers that helped it become a major player in the lumber industry during the late 1800’s. Sadly, many of those trees were toppled by Hurricane Laura, laying them across and through dozens of homes in the community of about 19,000 people.
On Saturday, President Donald J. Trump toured the area and stopped to make brief remarks about America’s resilience and promised to help rebuild Southeast Texas, Southwest Louisiana and other areas impacted by the strongest storm to strike the Gulf Coast in more than a century.
WHITE HOUSE LIVE VIDEO:
“We love this state,” Trump told the crowd. “We are here to help. We are working to get Texas everything it needs and we will bring it back.”
Trump said both Texas was lucky with the path of Hurricane Laura and even Louisiana could have been worse as the storm’s strong winds dropped in intensity. He said FEMA has already delivered 250,000 meals to both states and that power companies are working with Entergy to restore power, as quickly as possible.
Governor Greg Abbott commended the President’s administration in responding to the needs of Texas, saying “of all the storms I have been through, I have never received a swifter response.”
Governor Abbott and President Trump have jointly declared a state of emergency in 62 Texas counties. There are 19 distribution points across the region with food, MREs and water for residents affected by the storm.
Photos by Jerry Jordan/SETINVESTIGATES
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!