Hurricane-weary Southeast Texas braced for the worst as Hurricane Laura churned overnight in the Gulf of Mexico. But by Thursday morning, no deaths or serious injuries were reported in Beaumont following the brutal Category 4 hurricane’s landfall in nearby southwest Louisiana. As Laura’s 150-mph winds slammed into Cameron, Louisiana, before hurtling north to Lake Charles, a staging area of rescue workers and Texas Guard members in Beaumont were left with little to do, according to reporter Sig Christenson with the San Antonio Express-News.
“The damage here doesn’t seem to be severe and from what I’ve been told there’s no flooding,” Christenson told Texas Standard.
Apparently, that’s the difference about 60 miles can make.
Beaumont and Port Arthur are no strangers to hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricanes Rita, Ike and Harvey all delivered damage to the area in past years. But Christenson, who spent the night at the Ford Arena, west of Beaumont on Interstate 10 with rescue workers, said other than loud wind, no flooding was reported as Laura veered north then east of Lake Charles.
Hurricane Laura has made landfall in Beaumont. Inside Ford Arena, high winds can be heard enveloping the building, almost shaking it at times as the gusts kick up. Soldiers nearby seem to be sleeping, but I can’t. Maybe it’s the coffee, but more likely what is going on outside. pic.twitter.com/obfNMsdOd0
— Sig Christenson :camping: (@saddamscribe) August 27, 2020
Christenson credited the deadlier storms with preparing area residents here.
“Well, we’ve had a lot of storms over the years and they seem to be getting worse and worse,” Christenson said. “When you have that kind of experience, people tend to respect the weather. And they don’t underestimate it. People are veterans of these storms and they’re not taking chances.”