Laura Will Be Strongest Hurricane to Ever Hit Southwestern Louisiana

| August 26, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

Hurricane Laura will make landfall after midnight tonight as a strong category four, and possibly as a category five hurricane!

In either case, it will be the strongest hurricane ever to hit southwestern Louisiana.

1957’s Audrey is one of the deadliest hurricanes ever to hit the United States and is officially the strongest to hit southwestern Lousiana. The infamous storm sprung up quickly in the Gulf in June 1957 and rapidly intensified in the hours before landfall. People in Cameron Parish thought they had time to leave the following morning based on advice they heard from the U.S. Weather Bureau. But a devastating 12.4 foot surge at Cameron arrived before they could evacuate. The death toll was 416, most of them in Cameron Parish.

2005’s Rita was a category 3 hurricane with top winds of 115 mph at landfall when it came ashore on September 25, 2005, near Johnson’s Bayou/Sabine Pass west of Cameron. A 15′ foot surge was reported a Cameron. 95% of the structures in southern Cameron Parish were destroyed. Six feet of water was reported in downtown Lake Charles, 35 miles inland. One person died in Louisiana.

A hurricane struck Cameron Parish without warning on August 6, 1918. The official data shows peak winds of 120 mph, but there is a report of a 125mph wind at Sulphur, LA.

A powerful hurricane struck Johnson Bayou on October 12, 1886. Top winds in the database are listed as 120 mph. A surge of 12 feet was measured there. Between 175-200 people died in the storm, including 110 in Johnson’s Bayou.

Edith in 1971 was a category 2 hurricane with top winds of 105 when it made landfall near Pecan Island, east of Cameron. A 5-8 foot storm surge was reported along the Louisiana coast.

Hurricane Hilda struck a little further east on October 2-3, 1964, making landfall near Salt Point. Top winds were 105 mph. Thirty-nine people died, but the big killer was tornadoes. Twenty-two people died in one tornado at LaRose.

Category: ALL POSTS, Met 101/Weather History, Tropical

About the Author ()

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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