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Laura weakened to still dangerous Category 2 hurricane



Source: NOAA NHC
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Hurricane Laura weakened to a Category 2 storm as it pushed inland in Louisiana Thursday, with 75 mph winds.

Laura is expected to become a tropical storm within the next few hours and weaken to a tropical depression Thursday night as it continues northward into Arkansas.

Laura hit the Louisiana coast around 1 a.m. Thursday as a strong Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, tying the previous record set in the state in 1851, NBC reports. A storm called “Last Island” hit Louisiana that year with 150 mph winds.

The storm is the seventh named hurricane of the season to hit the continental U.S. before the end of August, breaking the previous record of six, first set in 1886 and tied in 1916.

As Laura pushes north just east of the Texas border, it is pushing seawater as far as 40 miles inland and sending strong bands of wind and rain eastward into Mississippi.

Warren County and other western counties on the Mississippi River are seeing heavy rain and strong wind. Expect widespread flash flooding along streams and roadways.

Through Friday, Laura is expected to produce additional rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches across portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, with isolated storm totals of 18 inches over Louisiana.

Tornadoes are possible through Thursday night over parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, and western Mississippi. The risk for tornadoes will shift into the Mid-South and Tennessee Valley regions Friday into Friday night.

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