Weather man almost hit by bolt of electricity from damaged powerlinesAugust 27, 2020
Moment TV weather man is almost hit by bolt of electricity from damaged powerlines as he stands in floodwaters while reporting on Hurricane Laura in coastal Texas town
- Justin Horne is a meteorologist for San Antonio news station KSAT-TV
- Horne did a live on-site report from Orange, Texas, near border with Louisiana
- While reporting just before Laura made landfall, explosion was caught on film
- The blast was the result of a blown transformer attached to power lines
- Laura made landfall in southwest Louisiana as ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4
- It came ashore near Cameron and wreaked havoc in Lake Charles on Thursday
A Texas meteorologist reporting on Hurricane Laura was live on the air just before the arrival of the monstrous Category 4 storm when a transformer attached to electrical power lines blew up, causing quite a scare.
Justin Horne of San Antonio-based KSAT-TV was doing a live shot from the coastal town of Orange, Texas, near the border with Louisiana late on Wednesday before Hurricane Laura made landfall.
Amid fierce wind gusts and heavy rain, Horne started reporting from a residential area when a loud explosion was heard a few feet behind him.
The blast created a shiny bolt of blue light, prompting Horne to quickly move out of the way. He was not hurt.
‘That’s not good,’ Horne said as he moved away from the power lines.
‘We’re gonna get out of the way of that.’
Justin Horne, a meteorologist for San Antonio-based KSAT-TV, was reporting live late on Wednesday from Orange, Texas, a coastal town near the border with Louisiana just before Hurricane Laura made landfall
During his report, a loud explosion took place just a few feet away near damaged powerlines
The image above shows a startled Horne begin to move out of the way immediately after the blast
‘That’s not good,’ Horne said as he moved away from the power lines. ‘We’re gonna get out of the way of that.’
Horne later tweeted that the explosion was caused by a faulty transformer
Initially, there were fears that the explosion was caused by falling power lines.
But Horne posted a tweet early on Thursday morning clarifying that the transformer exploded.
Hurricane Laura made landfall early on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms to hit the state, shattering glass windows and tearing roofs off buildings in Lake Charles as it moved northward to drench the inland.
Residents of Lake Charles, Louisiana, heard Laura’s winds howling and the sound of breaking glass throughout the night as the storm passed through the city of 78,000 with winds of 85 miles per hour and gusts up to 128 mph, in the hour after landfall.
The windows of the city’s 22-floor Capital One Tower were blown out, street signs were toppled and pieces of wooden fences and debris from collapsed buildings lay in the streets, video footage on Twitter and Snapchat showed.
Laura made landfall just before 1am as a Category 4 storm packing winds of 150 mph in the small town of Cameron, Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.
It rapidly weakened to a Category 2 storm Thursday morning with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, and was forecast to become a tropical storm later in the day.
However, the NHC warned that the threat of possibly deadly storm surge would continue along the Louisiana coast as Laura moved north and then northeast.
The area where Laura made landfall in Cameron Parish has a population of just under 7,000 and is home to a national wildlife refuge.
The marshland there is particularly vulnerable to the storm surge of ocean water.
‘This is one of the strongest storms to impact that section of coastline,’ said David Roth, a National Weather Service forecaster.
‘We worry about that storm surge going so far inland there because it’s basically all marshland north to Interstate 10. There is little to stop the water.’
Meteorologist Justin Horne of KSAT-TV in San Antonio is seen above
The storm surge, which the NHC on Wednesday predicted would be ‘unsurvivable,’ was still forecast to raise water levels up to 20 feet in parts of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, on Thursday morning.
‘This surge could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate coastline, and flood waters will not fully recede for several days after the storm,’ the NHC said on Thursday.
Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News on Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had pre-positioned teams throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia to respond as the sun rose.
‘The next 48 hours are really going to be critical from a life safety standpoint,’ Wolf said.
Almost 400,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana and Texas were without power early Thursday, and local utilities in the storm’s path warned the outage numbers would certainly climb as the storm marched inland.
The eastern coastal counties of Texas that had braced for the worst were largely spared Laura’s rage.
Galveston’s acting mayor, Craig Brown, told MSNBC he was canceling the island city’s evacuation on Thursday after the storm turned more toward Louisiana and was offering emergency support to communities hit harder to the east.
Beaumont, Texas, Mayor Becky Ames told MSNBC the situation there was ‘manageable.’
About 620,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders in Louisiana and Texas on Wednesday.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Thursday that between 5,000 and 10,000 people had evacuated in his state.
A Lake Charles police officer helps clear the streets in the downtown area after Hurricane Laura passed through on August 27, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana . The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city
A street is seen strewn with debris and downed power lines after Hurricane Laura passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Thursday
Reginald Duhon prepares to work at his home on Thursday in Lake Charles, Louisiana, after Hurricane Laura moved through the state
People walk past a destroyed building after the passing of Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Thursday
Hurricane Laura smashed into Texas and Louisiana as a Category 4 with 150mph winds, bringing devastation and leaving 500,000 without power early Thursday morning
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told CNN early Thursday that there were no known fatalities in his state yet.
‘I don’t know how long that will hold up, but that’s a blessing,’ Edwards said.
Laura could spawn tornadoes on Thursday over Louisiana, Arkansas and western Mississippi, and was expected to drop 6 to 12 inches of rain over the region, the NHC said.
Besides threatening life, the storm was barreling toward the heart of the US oil industry, forcing oil rigs and refineries to shut down production.
The oil-refining town of Port Arthur was just west of where Laura made landfall.
The city of 54,000 was a ghost town late on Wednesday, with just a couple of gas stations and a liquor store open for business.
Just hours before Laura smashed into the coast, Port Arthur resident Eric Daw hustled to fill up his car on his way to a shelter in San Antonio.
There, instead of worrying about the storm, he was concerned with avoiding exposure to the coronavirus, echoing the concerns of many others.
‘They say we are all supposed to socially distance now,’ he said.
‘But how am I supposed to socially distance in a shelter?’
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