Twin storms headed for U.S. coast, Louisiana residents evacuate

Officials in Louisiana ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of low-lying areas.

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, a Cat. 5 storm, tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:20Z September 1, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

In preparation for the unprecedented twin storm that is coming their way, residents of Louisiana began evacuating on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in Port-au-Prince, the capitol city of Haiti, flooded roads took on the appearance of raging rivers as Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura threaten the Caribbean and U.S. Gulf Coast. The storms are also expected to hit Cuba.

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Forecasters predict that Marco, which was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane on Sunday, will hit the Louisiana coast on Monday, and will be followed by Tropical Storm Laura, which is currently looming over the Dominican Republic and Haiti and heading for Cuba.

Laura is expected to strengthen to a hurricane prior to striking the Gulf Coast on Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami warned that Marco is expected to bring high gusts of wind and a life threatening storm surge along the Gulf Coast.

“It looks like the upper Gulf is going to get a one-two punch,” hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. “That’s pretty much unprecedented that close together.”

According to Reuters, Tropical Storm Laura has already done a great deal of damage to the Dominican Republic, where at least three people have died.

The death of a mother and her seven-year-old son was caused by collapsing walls, a million people were left without power, over a thousand were forced to evacuate, and several homes along the Isabela River collapsed due to the force of the storm.

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Chris Kerr, a meteorologist and director of offshore forecasting for DTN, an energy, agriculture and weather provider, said that Laura could potentially gain strength and upgrade to a Category 2 or 3 hurricane and move closer to the Houston-Galveston area by late Wednesday or Thursday.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti is being deluged by flooding and videos shared on social media show residents wading through waist-high, muddy water. Authorities warned citizens that the Peligre Hydroelectric dam might burst its banks and they advised those who live near the Artibonite River to evacuate.

With back-to-back hurricanes arriving on the U.S. Coast within days, the result could be a “prolonged period of hazardous weather,” said Stacy Stewart, a National Hurricane Center forecaster.

On Sunday, officials in Louisiana ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of low-lying areas and the US. Coast Guard called for ships to make plans to evacuate the Port of New Orleans.

The possibility of flooding and evacuations added to the concern about the spread of Covid-19. Tulane University, the largest private employer in New Orleans said it will close its testing center on Monday due to flooding and loss of power. The university advised students to continue maintaining social distancing guidelines.

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