Hurricane Laura has weakened to a tropical storm after hitting Louisiana with 150 mph winds on Thursday.

By Meena Thiruvengadam
August 28, 2020
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A road is blocked off by destroyed trees after the passing of Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 27, 2020.
| Credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The remnants of Hurricane Laura, now a tropical storm, are expected to bring heavy rainfall and possible tornados to a swath of the U.S. stretching from Louisiana through the Tennessee Valley this weekend. 

The National Weather Service expects up to five inches of rain in some places and sees risks of isolated flash flooding as well as tornadoes as Laura strengthens over the weekend and moves toward the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. 

Laura — one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall in recent history — is the seventh named storm to hit the U.S. in what’s been an especially busy hurricane season so far. The storm caused at least two dozen deaths in Haiti and the Dominican Republic before striking Louisiana early Thursday morning, where its believed to have killed at least six more people, and weakening to a tropical storm as it moved inland. 

The storm took an extraordinary 11 hours to lose its hurricane status. 

Laura struck Louisiana, near the Texas border, blowing out the windows of a Lake Charles, La., high rise and shoving a floating casino into a bridge with its 150 mph winds. Laura also uprooted a confederate statue whose presence was the subject of a legal battle in Louisiana and has left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power across the region, The Associated Press reported.

The AP also described scenes of submerged neighborhoods, downed trees and power lines, and streets littered with sheets of metal and debris. 

Hotels in Texas have also been taking in families that have been displaced by the storm, CBS Dallas reported on Thursday.

AccuWeather meteorologists said the storm has enough energy left that it could cause severe storms from the southern Appalachian mountains to North Carolina and up to New Jersey this weekend. 

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter at @meena_thiru and on Instagram at @meenathiru.