The National Hurricane Center says Laura remains a hurricane, sustaining top winds of 75 mph (120 kph) more than 170 miles after landfall.
The powerful storm struck land near Cameron on the southwest Louisiana coast at about 1 a.m. Thursday. Nine hours later, it was about 10 miles north of Natchitoches, Louisiana, and had not yet weakened into a tropical storm.
The hurricane is expected to keep drenching Louisiana and then Arkansas as a tropical storm, causing widespread flash flooding and damage from winds. It was moving north near 16 mph (26 kmh).
Reports are coming in from people who rode out Hurricane Laura in Louisiana.
Brett Geymann lives in Moss Bluff, just north of Lake Charles, and said the eye of the storm passed directly over them. He says his house survived but every other building, structure and tree on his property is gone.
Geymann says his family’s OK but “there’s destruction all around” them.
He says “It looks like 1,000 tornadoes” came through, with some houses “totally gone.”
Drone video in the Lake Charles area shows water surrounding homes with large parts of their roofs peeled off, hotels with rooms exposed and giant trees uprooted.