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Updates- Laura now Weakened to Category 1 Storm; Buildings Damaged in Lake Charles; Unknown Chemicals Leaking

National Hurricane Center latest updates states that Hurricane Laura is now weakened to a Category 1, hurricane with winds of 85 mph .

Laura made landfall overnight in Louisiana as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, but it has been weakening as it travels northward through Louisiana.

 Lake Charles with population about 3200 (2010 census), where many buildings damaged. Power lines down everywhere. 

Chemical leak reported in western Lake Charles, Louisiana following the landfall of Hurricane.

"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," the weather service said in a statement early Thursday. "This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline. Only a few hours remain to protect life and property and all actions should be rushed to completion."

A 14-year-old girl in Louisiana is the first known fatality from Hurricane Laura, according to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

More than 600,000 are without power in Louisiana and Texas. Half a million residents had been told to leave parts of Texas and Louisiana while an additional 200,000 were told to evacuate Calcasieu Parish in south-western Louisiana.. Evacuations have been complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott had urged families who could afford it to take refuge in hotels and motels to be distanced from others.

Reports will be incoming all day as damage continues to be assessed.

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