Hurricane Laura continued to track toward the Louisiana and Texas border [at press time], having strengthened significantly to a Category 4 storm, making Laura the first major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season. Her track adjusted slightly as well, away from the Houston metropolitan area.
The table below shows the metro areas currently in NOAA-defined storm surge watch or warning regions. This is not an indication that all of these areas will equally receive the same intensity of storm surge. The right front quadrant of a hurricane presents the greatest threat of storm surge. Based on the current track, true Category 4 storm surge heights would likely affect Lake Charles and Jennings with a slightly lesser degree of intensity for Beaumont and Lafayette.
CoreLogic updated analysis shows that, at Category 4 intensity, 1.1 million homes in the below metro areas could be affected by storm surge.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there have been significant impacts on healthcare facilities. Across Texas and Louisiana, 35 nursing homes have been evacuated, and COVID-19 testing sites in Louisiana will be inoperable until the storm passes.
In addition, it’s expected that the energy industry will also see some disruption as the Gulf Coast is home to oil rigs. Many refineries across the area have shut-in, and with the increased demand for fuel from evacuees, there is potential for localized fuel disruptions.
The team at CoreLogic continues to monitor Hurricane Laura and will provide updates as the situation unfolds.