2020 just keeps coming, this time in the form of a major storm.
Hurricane Laura is the latest in this year’s offenses, and it’s expected to be one of the largest storms to touch down in the United States, ever.
The hurricane is currently classified as a Category 4 storm, with Category 5 potential, and is expected to impact Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
Hurricane Laura officially touched down in Louisiana shortly after midnight on Thursday morning, causing massive devastation, setting a biochemical lab on fire, and taking its first casualty, a 14-year-old girl near Lake Charles.
Leading up to its landfall, meteorologist Margaret Orr was live-broadcasting the weather report when she received an urgent update and safety warning about the storm.
The information given to Orr came from the National Hurricane Center, which she immediately shared during her broadcast.
Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline. #Laura pic.twitter.com/bV4jzT3Chd
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 26, 2020
Orr led into her reading of the update with a potentially too-candid reflection:
“It truly reminds me shades of Katrina.”
Orr choked up multiple times while reading the update:
“Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline.”
Orr paused for a moment and then said to the camera:
“That’s all I have to say.”
WDSU Chief Meteorologist Margaret Orr chokes back tears reading a dire warning from the National Hurricane Center, saying the message reminds her of Hurricane Katrina. Please take this storm seriously. pic.twitter.com/HKZlNH1inO
— wdsu (@wdsu) August 26, 2020
Warnings are popping up all across Twitter regarding the safety of the three neighboring states.
Prior to the landing of the storm, there were repeated warnings to evacuate the Holly Beach, Louisiana, area.
— Nicholas Isabella (@NycStormChaser) August 26, 2020
— GregNordstrom (@GregNordstrom) August 26, 2020
In the meantime, the storm is projected to lead to more than 9 feet of water above sea level, across the Louisiana and Texas coastlines, moving inland a potential of 40 miles.
Hurricane #Laura is expected to bring 9+ feet of storm surge to parts of #Louisiana and #Texas. If you're told to evacuate, you need to do so before it's too late. #HurricaneLaura pic.twitter.com/OoFcSeRWY9
— CStore News. Noticias de CStore (@CStoreNews_) August 25, 2020
Those following the storm on Twitter praised Orr for her coverage of the storm, much like her previous coverage of Katrina.
@MargaretOrr as someone that lived in Lake Charles through Katrina and Rita, and now calls New Orleans home, thank you for showing so much care and love.
— Sarah Lungaro, MD (@lungareaux) August 26, 2020
@MargaretOrr Sending you hugs. You have worked non- stop this week to keep us informed during these double storms. It's never a good time for a hurricane but it's especially hard for many of us in NOLA who suffered through Katrina. Thank you for all your efforts. ❤
— ⚜ Tina ⚜ (@TheNolaGirl) August 26, 2020
That’s why Margaret is the best. Her expertise can literally save lives and she gets it.
— stan verrett (@stanverrett) August 26, 2020
#MargaretOrr is the real deal. I know I can always depend on the forecast she reports. Here in S.E.Louisiana surely we are all concerned for our neighbors to the west. This is going to be a bad one. 😢
— terri (@TJoTZ) August 26, 2020
Others made a point of sharing prayers and urging people who have the resources to evacuate as soon as possible.
Praying for those in the storm’s path. We’re closing early at our store in Mandeville to make sure everyone gets home safe.
— Cori Cross (@corially) August 26, 2020
I remember the terror in her eyes while forecasting Hurricane Katrina and pray for those in the path of this monstrous storm!
— Deborah Gauthier (@diversifieddebb) August 26, 2020
Praying for my home state, everyone in Lake Charles and on the Texas Coast! So close to the anniversary of Katrina, she knows what we went through and what is coming to Lake Charles. 😞🙏🏼
— Angela Weddle (@angela_weddle) August 27, 2020
Man…prayers for everyone in the most effected areas. Get out of there. Please, just get out as fast as you can.
— Larry Morales (@LarryMo_WhoDat) August 26, 2020
Since the hurricane only landed a matter of hours ago, there’s no telling yet how extensive the damages will be to properties and families, nor how far inland or along the coastline the storm will manage to travel before dissipating.
We can only hope that residents will evacuate and take shelter when told and wait until the worst of the storm has passed.