Hurricane Laura

Part of the Austin Convention Center is being used to shelter Hurricane Laura evacuees.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

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Some Hurricane Laura evacuees who came to the Austin area can return home, Central Texas officials said just after 4 p.m. Thursday.

People in Jefferson County, Texas, where Hurricane Laura was projected to cause serious damage, are breathing a sigh of relief Thursday after the storm moved into Louisiana and points north without leaving too much impact on the community. Now many of those southeast Texas residents are working on cleaning up what little damage there is.

Hurricane Laura is destroying buildings, sparking flash floods and bringing a "catastrophic" storm surge to southwestern Louisiana on Thursday morning, remaining a fearsome hurricane more than seven hours after making landfall.

Laura rapidly intensified into an extremely dangerous storm as it neared land, with the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters spinning its maximum sustained winds up to at least 150 mph.

Officials say 135 shelter spaces will be set up at the Austin Convention Center for Hurricane Laura evacuees.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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La ciudad de Austin está trabajando para abrir una parte del centro de convenciones que sirva de refugio para los evacuados del huracán Laura.

Officials say 135 shelter spaces will be set up at the Austin Convention Center for Hurricane Laura evacuees.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The City of Austin is working to open a portion of the convention center to serve as a shelter for Hurricane Laura evacuees.

Updated at 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday

Hurricane Laura made landfall at 1 a.m. ET Thursday with extreme winds and an expected "catastrophic" storm surge in parts of Texas and Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The projected path of Hurricane Laura has it hitting the Texas-Louisiana border overnight Wednesday.
National Hurricane Center

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La ciudad de Austin ya no está rechazando a los evacuados por el huracán Laura después de que el Circuito de las Américas (COTA, en inglés) reabriera como área de descanso este miércoles a las 10 a.m.

Los evacuados que esperan en el hipódromo en el sur del condado de Travis recibirán habitaciones de hotel por orden de llegada, dijo la ciudad, añadiendo que se proporcionarán los servicios básicos a los que aguardan.

Hurricane Laura moves toward the Texas-Louisiana border Wednesday morning.
National Hurricane Center

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The City of Austin is no longer turning away Hurricane Laura evacuees after the Circuit of the Americas was reopened as a rest area Wednesday at 10 a.m.

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-EAST

Galveston residents fleeing the path of Hurricane Laura are being bused to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. From there, they’ll be placed in local hotels until it’s safe to go back to the Gulf Coast.

Updated at 10:24 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Laura is "rapidly intensifying" and will make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday as a major hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of Wednesday morning, Laura is a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of at least 115 mph. Forecasters predict a storm surge from 9 to 14 feet when it strikes near the Louisiana-Texas border.