Transcript for 4 dead after Hurricane Laura hits coast
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on yet another very busy night of news. And the images coming in tonight are just devastating. Millions of americaning suffering the effects of hurricane Laura. The category 4 hurricane, just shy of a category 5. One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike that part of the country. The death toll growing tonight. The hurricane slamming ashore in the middle of the night. 150-mile-an-hour winds, making landfall in Cameron, Louisiana. Shredding this office tower, downing power lines. More than half a million customers are without power tonight. And of course, all of this playing out in the middle of this pandemic. Falling trees responsible for several deaths. So many homes and buildings damaged or destroyed. This fire at a chemical plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, spewing toxic chemicals tonight. Residents have been warned, stay home, to close windows. Storm winds ripping a riverboat casino from its moorings, slamming it right into a bridge. Meteorologist rob Marciano was with our team riding out the storm in Lake Charles, Louisiana, all night. He said he could feel the building swaying. And so rob leads us off tonight. Reporter: Tonight, Laura driving inland after making landfall on the Louisiana coast in the middle of the night. The storm packing 150-mile-per-hour winds, just shy of category 5 hurricane strength. This is the ridge of the eye wall, you can see how visibility is going to zero now. Flying debris happening. Reporter: 1:30 in the morning, power just went out here in Lake Charles. The wind is buffeting our hotel. You can feel the building swaying. Oh, my god! Reporter: This skyscraper shredded by winds gusting above 100 miles per hour for nearly an hour straight. And outside our hotel -- a lot of glass, a lot of tile. Right now, a lot of wind. By 4:30, the backside of Laura was upon us. There's some sheet metal. Obviously, we're not going to go stand out in that. But this is an amazing view of just how ferocious these winds are here on the backside of this storm. 120. Reporter: Kyle Ricks riding it inside a tow boat. Can you hear the wind howling. Those whipping winds flipping this rv. West of Lake Charles, rescuers cutting a hole in the side of another overturned trailer, saving a man and his dog trapped inside. Daylight revealing catastrophic destruction. The amount of damage around Lake Charles is just incredible, some of the winds from hurricane Laura took upper floors of this hotel and ripped it to shreds. Roofs ripped clean off buildings. 2003ed snapped like twigs. This communications tower mangled. A mile-long freight train derailed. A fire breaking out at this chemical plant west of Lake Charles. Chlorine gas and smoke billowing in the air. Residents warned to shelter in place. Across the state, at least six people now confirmed dead. But with many areas hard for rescuers to reach, the full casualty count remains to be seen. In Texas, an army of first responders heading towards the heart of the storm zone. Governor Abbott touring destruction east of Beaumont. When you consider the magnitude of the damage that could have occurred here, we did dodge a bullet. Reporter: Back in Louisiana, we met Kim Eagleson and her daughter, karlissa. It was a roller coaster, terrifying, terrifying. Reporter: Thankful to be their home, severely damaged. They were staying next door. When they say, get out while you can -- listen. Listen. Get out. Because this happens. Such an important warning. We're glad they're okay. Rob joins us live from lake Charles, Louisiana, tonight. And rob, I know the mayor said it was like a bomb went off there and we can see just the incredible damage all around you. Reporter: Yeah, it's everywhere, David. And that's an accurate description. I can tell you this, in all my years I have never seen hurricane damage like this, cut through a city. It is like a tornado cut through here. This behind me, this is one of the many cell towers that came crashing down during the storm, across this office building, across this restaurant. There are hundreds of utility poles and power lines that are cut across the city. They'll be out of power for weeks. And this scene is repeopled block after block, neighborhood after neighborhood, across the city of Lake Charles. My goodness, it's going to be something to recover from. It will take years. The low of Laura over little Rock. We're not done with the storm yet. It is weakening but bringing with it a lot of punch and a lot of rain. So, this continues to spin out tonight. Gets over Memphis. It will get picked up into the jet scream. We'll see heavy rains in this area. Maybe more moisture coming out of the gulf of Mexico and that may bring more rain to the area trying to recover. This is not what we need tomorrow. Nor do we need this. Just now getting into the peak of hurricane season and we've got two more systems in the atlantic to watch. Hopefully, David, those two will cut us a break. David? Yeah, we really don't like seeing that. But we do thank you, rob, and all of our crews throughout the region during this storm. Thank you, rob. We're going to move on to
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