Louisiana, Cuba residents evacuate as twin storms take aim at U.S. coast
Coastal residents in low-lying areas of Louisiana and Cuba were evacuating on Sunday, while roads turned to rivers in Haiti’s capital city, as twin hurricanes threatened the Caribbean and U.S. Gulf Coast, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Marco, which strengthened to a hurricane on Sunday and is forecast to hit the Louisiana coast on Monday, will be followed by Tropical Storm Laura, now over the Dominican Republic and Haiti and heading toward Cuba, and expected strengthen to a hurricane before striking the Gulf Coast on Thursday.
At least three people died, including a mother and her 7-year-old son, in the Dominican Republic due to collapsing walls. Laura left more than a million in the country without electricity, forced more than a thousand to evacuate and caused several homes along the Isabela River to collapse, authorities said.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on Sunday warned the state’s residents that tropical storm-force winds would arrive by Monday morning and they should be ready to ride out both Marco and Laura. “Wherever you are at dark tonight is where you need to be prepared to ride out these storms,” Edwards said.
Laura could strengthen and become a Category 2 or 3 hurricane and move west, closer to the Houston-Galveston area, bringing flooding rains late Wednesday or Thursday, said Chris Kerr, a meteorologist and director of offshore forecasting for DTN, an energy, agriculture and weather data provider.
In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, videos on social media showed people wading waist-deep in muddy water in some of the worst flooding the capital has seen in years. Haiti is especially vulnerable to intense rains due to shoddy infrastructure and deforestation which increases the likelihood of landslides.
Authorities called on residents along the Artibonite River to evacuate due to risks the Peligre Hydroelectric Dam might burst its banks.