Photos show the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm and pummeled Louisiana and Texas

  • Hurricane Laura touched down as a Category 4 storm and lashed Louisiana and Texas early Thursday.
  • In the lead-up to Laura's arrival on the US Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center forecast "unsurvivable storm surge," "destructive waves," and "catastrophic damage."
  • Photos and videos that emerged on Thursday showed widespread destruction.
  • Laura uprooted power lines and trees, blew roofs and windows off hotels and buildings, destroyed homes, and left cars bobbing in water-logged streets.
  • Follow our latest updates on the storm here.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm early Thursday.

It battered the coasts of Louisiana and Texas with 150 mph winds and massive storm surges, with the National Hurricane Center tweeting just after 1 a.m. CT that "potentially catastrophic impacts will continue."

Laura weakened while moving inland, but the weather service continued issuing warnings about heavy rain, flooding, tornadoes, "damaging winds," and "life-threatening storm surges."

People braved the storm to take photographs of the damage Laura was causing: mangled telecommunications towers, an RV being buffeted by strong winds, and windows of a hotel giving way.

As the sun rose, people emerged from their houses to take stock of the wreckage Laura had left in its wake.

Footage on social media showed houses and cars submerged underwater; hotels and other buildings — including the Capital One Tower in Lake Charles, Louisiana — were missing roofs and windows; and signs had toppled over at debris-ridden gas stations.

Elsewhere, homes had been gutted, their insides strewn all over sidewalks after the heavy winds and flooding.

A room had its roof blown off as Hurricane Laura raced through Lake Charles, Louisiana, on August 27, 2020.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The monster storm flattened structures, leaving them unrecognizable.

Hurricane Laura, which touched down as a Category 4 storm, destroyed buildings in Louisiana.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Trees were uprooted and billboards were shredded.

Hurricane Laura hit with powerful winds, causing extensive damage in Louisiana.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Downed powerlines created a safety hazard while hundreds of thousands were left in the dark.

A street is strewn with debris and downed power lines after Hurricane Laura passed through the area on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The rain and storm surge left streets water-logged.

Tidal flooding from Hurricane Laura is seen in downtown Galveston, Texas on August 27, 2020
ELLIE CHERRYHOMES/AFP via Getty Images

The force of the storm also upended boats and sparked a chemical plant fire.

Smoke rises from a burning chemical plant after Hurricane Laura passes Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 27, 2020.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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