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UPDATE: Laura strengthens to Cat 4, campus, community prepare for storm


Graphic courtesy of KVEO-TV.
Graphic courtesy of KVEO-TV.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available. 

Aug. 26, 2:35 p.m.

Via the Beaumont Enterprise — "Beginning at 6 p.m., the city of Port Neches will discontinue all city water service.

Water service will resume as soon as possible after the storm has passed, however it will be necessary to boil the water prior to consumption.

City of Beaumont officials have confirmed they do not have any similar plans. Beaumont city water will continue as expected.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bill Bartie said he's not sure about his city at this time."

Aug. 26, 2:30 p.m.

Via LU Alert — Lamar University cancels classes

"As Hurricane Laura intensifies and moves closer to the Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana coast, we hope that all members of the Lamar University community are safe and out of harm's way. At this time, all classes including online courses are canceled. The cancellation of courses pertains to out-of-state courses as well. 

Continue to monitor your LU email,, the university's social media and LiveSafe for important official updates."

Aug. 26, 1 p.m.

Hurricane Laura has strengthened to an "extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane" with maximum winds of 140 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Aug. 26, 12:15 p.m.

Via KBMT Channel 12 — Some landline prefixes might experience difficulty reaching 911 during the storm.

According to the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN), the affected prefixes are:

  • 409-982-####
  • 409-983-####
  • 409-984-####
  • 409-985-####
  • 409-971-####
  • 409-989-####

Aug. 26, 11 a.m.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie issues a curfew order between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m.

"Mandatory curfew order for the City of Port Neches goes into effect at 10 p.m. tonight," the city posted to their Facebook page. "It will remain in effect until the order is rescinded."

Aug. 26, 10 a.m.

Via KBMT Channel 12:

City of Beaumont issues dusk to dawn curfew ahead of Laura's landfall.

Orange, West Orange and Pinehurst have issued a curfew from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., beginning Aug. 25, until revoked.

Vidor issues a curfew order Aug. 26 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., each day until the order is revoked. According to city officials, any violation of this order shall be punishable as a Class C  misdemeanor.

Tyler County issues mandatory curfew order between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. until further notice.

Aug. 26, 9 a.m.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick issues a mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., effective at 9 a.m., Aug. 26, according to KBMT Channel 12.

Aug. 26, 9 a.m. 

According to the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, the floodgates on Highway 365 will close at 11 a.m.

Aug. 26

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has added three more counties to the state disaster declaration — Camp, Ellis and Tarrant Counties.

Aug. 25, 5:45 p.m.

Via LU Alert — Hurricane Laura Update, campus closed

"We realize that many of you are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Laura. Our campus is now closed in preparation for the storm.

Whether you stay or leave town, our primary concern is your safety. All students in residence hall have evacuated to their homes, families or Texas State University.

We are planning to resume normal operations on Monday, but please watch the LU Alert website and our Blackboard course shell for announcements and other important updates."

Aug. 24, 8:12 p.m.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick has issued a mandatory evacuation order for all of Jefferson County, beginning Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., according to KFDM Channel 6.

Essential workers such as those who work at oil terminals, refineries, petrochemical plants, medical care facilities, hospitals, local and state government workers, communication workers, remediation and recovery workers, and insurance adjusters are exempt from the order.

Aug. 24, 5:30 p.m.

Orange County announces plan for mandatory evacuation, beginning Tuesday at 6 a.m., for the entire county.

According to the 12News StormTrackers, citizens who can't evacuate themselves can find transportation resources at Lamar State College Orange and Vidor Elementary School at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Aug. 24, 5:00 p.m.

Via LU Alert — Lamar University campus residents are encouraged to seek shelter off campus.

 "Lamar University officials have continued to monitor Tropical Storm Laura and the potential impact to our region. The current track of this storm poses an increased risk to Southeast Texas. Therefore, the university will suspend all in-person residential classes starting Tuesday. Additionally, the campus will close Aug. 25, at noon. 

Please check your Blackboard course site for continuation and expectations related to your on-campus/residential classes. Hybrid classes will move to 100 percent online until further notice. All online courses will continue to meet as identified in your syllabi. These actions will take place until further notice, with the expectations of reopening campus Sunday afternoon in preparation for Monday residential classes."

From the LU housing office — "If you cannot leave and have a vehicle on campus, it must be moved and parked in Parking Lot C1 (Recreational Sports lot) on Tuesday. Do not leave your vehicle in any of the housing lots around Gentry/Combs/Morris/Campbell/Monroe as these lots are prone to flooding."

Aug. 24, 4:00 p.m.

According to the 12News StormTrackers, a hurricane watch has been issued for several coastal counties ahead of Laura. These counties include Jefferson, Orange, south Liberty and Chambers Counties.

Aug. 24, 12:21 p.m.

Lamar encourages students to continue to monitor their LU emails, as well as sign up for the LiveSafe app.

"Announcements are being made as administrators are making decisions regarding both the COVID pandemic and the storms in the Gulf," Robert Wagner, LU executive director of campus operations, said. "These situations are fluid and as information becomes available it is shared via campus announcements and our web pages."

Aug. 24, 11:59 a.m.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie is calling for a mandatory evacuation of Port Arthur beginning Tuesday at 6 a.m., according to KFDM Channel 6.

Aug. 24, 10:38 a.m.

Marco projected to downgrade to tropical depression Monday night, Laura expected to impact southwest Louisiana as a hurricane Wednesday evening, according to the 12News StormTrackers.

Aug. 23, 5:15 p.m.

LU Alert — Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura

"Lamar University officials are monitoring two tropical systems with potential impact to our region. The expected path and severity of these storms have changed significantly over the weekend and remain highly unpredictable. At this time, Hurricane Marco is expected to have minor impacts to campus on Tuesday evening with an increased chance of wind and rain. Tropical Storm Laura is currently predicted to arrive on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning."

Aug. 23

Several school districts in Southeast Texas are canceling classes from Aug. 24 to Aug. 28 due to potential impact of storms Marco and Laura, according to KFDM Channel 6.

These school districts include: Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD, West Orange-Cove CISD, Orangefield ISD, Bridge City ISD, Vidor ISD, Port Neches-Groves ISD, Sabine Pass ISD and Legacy Christian Academy (closed from Aug. 24 to Aug. 26).

Aug. 23, 2:10 p.m.

Governor Greg Abbott declares a state of disaster for 23 Texas counties: Aransas, Bexar, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Willacy.

Abbott declared the emergency, citing that "[Tropical Storm] Marco and Tropical Storm Laura pose a threat of imminent disaster, including widespread and severe property damage, injury, and loss of life due to widespread flooding, storm surge, and damaging winds," in his proclamation Sunday afternoon.

Category: News