SAN ANTONIO – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delivered an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Laura after surveying damage due to the storm, which made landfall early Thursday.
He spoke Thursday from Orange, Texas, a city just west of where the hurricane hit near Cameron, Louisiana. Senator John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were also in attendance.
Abbott says his state appeared to have made it through Hurricane Laura with minimal or no loss of life, which he said was a “miracle.”
He described seeing roofs sheared off buildings and uprooted trees following an aerial tour of the damage near the state border with Louisiana. The storm surge that was predicted to be as high as 10 feet (3 meters) before landfall wound up being closer to 3 feet (0.9 meters), he said.
And nearly 12 hours after landfall, Abbott says there were still no confirmed fatalities.
Abbott said about 8,500 people were served in Texas shelters. He said the state minimized potential loss of life because residents in the storm’s path heeded local advance warnings to evacuate.
The hurricane made landfall as a Category 4 storm, blasting a stretch of the Gulf Coast from Port Arthur to Lake Charles, Louisiana.
More than 600,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday morning in both states, according to the website PowerOutage.Us, which tracks utility reports.
The now-weakened hurricane is moving north and is expected to reach Arkansas as a tropical storm. Forecasters expect it to cause widespread flash flooding and damage from winds.
Abbott told “Good Morning America” that Hurricane Laura is moving “in unprecedented fashion” through the East Texas cities.
“So in Northeast Texas, a hurricane is going through there for, as far as I know, the first time ever,” he said.
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