MIAMI, Fla. — Parts of Texas and Louisiana are bracing for Hurricane Laura, as continues to move closer to the United States as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm.
Earlier in the day, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a dire warning, saying "little time to protect life and property."
Laura is expected to deliver catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding.
As of the 8 p.m. ET update, Laura is about 120 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and 120 miles south-southeast of Port Arthur, Texas. Hurricane Laura is packing 150 mph winds and is moving north-northwest at 15 mph.
According to the NHC, Laura will approach Upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts this evening and move inland within that area tonight.
In a special bulletin, the NHC said winds were increasing and the hurricane was taking aim at the northwest Gulf Coast.
Laura is forecast to remain a category 4 hurricane through landfall tonight.
The center of Laura is forecast to move over northwestern Louisiana tomorrow, across Arkansas Thursday night, and over the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday.
NHC said the northwest Gulf Coast could see "potentially catastrophic" storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding Wednesday night.
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, according to the NHC.
This storm surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline in southwestern Louisiana and far southeastern Texas.
Watches and Warnings:
Storm Surge Warning:* Freeport Texas to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
Hurricane Warning:* San Luis Pass Texas to Intracoastal City Louisiana
Hurricane Watch:* East of Intracoastal City to the west of Morgan City Louisiana
Tropical Storm Warning:* Sargent Texas to San Luis Pass* East of Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
Storm Surge Watch:* Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, Mississippi* Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne
Emily McCain with WFTS in Tampa Bay, Florida, first reported this story.