Thousands evacuated as twin storms move close to US coast
Thousands of people from Louisiana and Cuba evacuated as hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura tore through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and flooded roads in Haiti’s capital, causing considerable damage in its wake.
Marco, which strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday with sustained winds of 75 mph is forecast to make landfall along the Louisiana coast on Monday, a Reuters report reads. A hurricane watch has been issued from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border. Most of Alabama coast is on a tropical storm watch too. President Trump on Sunday issued a disaster declaration for Louisiana on Sunday. Due to the twin storm alert, energy firms shut 58 per cent of Mexico oil output.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards warned residents that if they did not evacuate by Sunday, they would have to ride out both the storms as they were expected to hit the coast by Monday.
According to Chris Kerr, a meteorologist at DTN, an energy, agriculture and weather data provider, Laura could strengthen into a Category 2 or 3 hurricane on the 5-step Saffir-Simpson scale for measuring hurricane intensity and move west, closer to Houston.
The threshold for Category 2 storms is 96mph, while that of category 3 terms is 111 mph.
The National Hurricane Centre said that back-to-back hurricanes hitting the US coast within days could result in a prolonged period of hazardous weather. Teams of rescue workers have been sent to centres in Louisiana and Texas by The Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The US Coast Guard in the meantime, raised its warning for the Port of New Orleans, calling for ships to make plans to evacuate some areas. Residents in low-lying areas of Louisiana’s coastal Lafourche Parish were asked to evacuate. In Grand Isle, at the southern tip of Louisiana, authorities were placing sandbags to bolster its protective levy.