A large fire is being reported at a chemical plant along the shores of Lake Charles in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura rolled through overnight, causing widespread damage and power outages.
Video and photos show smoke rising above the community of Westlake, about 30 miles from the Texas-Louisiana border.
The billows from the burning material can be seen drifting across Interstate 10.
“There is a chemical fire in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said via Twitter. “Residents are advised to shelter in place until further notice and close your doors and windows. Follow the directions of local officials.”
I-10 has been closed through the area, and local media are reporting that there could also be a chlorine leak tied to the fire, which would be extremely dangerous if true.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the fire is in the Bio Lab Inc. complex, which produces chlorine for swimming pools.
Laura made landfall as a category 4 storm, bringing floods and winds of 150 miles per hour. As the sun rose over Lake Charles, the extent of the damage looked to be severe. One 14-year-old girl was reported to have died after a tree fell on her family’s home.
The storm has since weakened to a category one hurricane as it moves further inland.