Hurricane Laura officially made landfall in Louisiana early Thursday morning as a Category 4 storm, bringing winds of more than 150 miles per hour to the Louisiana area near the Texas border.
The storm, which is the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana in more 150 years, is weakening through the morning, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), but is still causing heavy hurricane conditions in Louisiana and storm surge in areas along the coast. The NHC said that, despite some weakening, the storm could still impact areas as far inland as eastern Texas.
Laura has caused heavy flight cancellations and delays at impacted areas—out of the 174 flights delayed and the 4555 cancelled within the United States on Thursday morning, most were coming out of Houston Bush Intercontinental (107 cancelled and another 11 delayed); William P Hobby (61 cancelled and 3 delayed); and Dallas-Fort Worth International (14 cancelled and 4 delayed).
According to the NHC, Laura is expected to move over Arkansas on Thursday night before hitting the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday, and then the mid-Atlantic states on Saturday. The storm is expected to weaken to a tropical storm later on Thursday.
Change fee waivers
American Airlines said it would allow anyone with a ticket booked by Aug. 25, for travel from Aug. 25 through Aug. 27 from, to, or through Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Beaumont, Gulfport/Biloxi, Houston (both Hobby and Intercontinental), Key West, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Mobile, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport, to change their ticket without a fee. Tickets have to rebooked with the original destination and origin cities and in the same cabin (tickets can be upgraded if travelers pay the difference).
Delta Airlines will allow any tickets for travel scheduled for Aug. 25 through Aug. 28 to, from, or through Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Gulfport, Houston (both Hobby and Intercontinental), Lafayette, Little Rock, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport, to be rescheduled without fee. The ticket must be reissued on or before Aug. 31 and rebooked travel must begin no later than Aug. 31.
JetBlue has issued a change/cancel fee and fare difference waiver for all of its customers flying on Aug. 26 and Aug. 27 to, from, or through Houston (Intercontinental) and New Orleans. Tickets can be rebooked for travel through Sept. 1 as long as the original ticket was booked on or before Aug. 25.
United issued a waiver for tickets issued prior to Aug. 24 for travel from Aug. 26 through Aug. 27. Tickets from Baton Rouge, Beaumont/Port Arthur, Gulfport, Houston (Intercontinental), Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport, are eligible for the waiver.