HURRICANE LAURA: Expected to Slam the Gulf Coast Wednesday Night

HURRICANE LAURA: Expected to Slam the Gulf Coast Wednesday Night

UPDATE (9:00 a.m. ET): Laura is now officially a category 1 hurricane. (The Weather Channel)

Tropical Storm Laura is churning and strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to slam into the Texas and Louisiana coasts as a major hurricane Wednesday night.

Laura is expected to be a category two or three hurricane when it makes landfall and could dump several inches of rain on the coast, causing widespread flooding and a storm surge of up to 11 feet. Several evacuation orders have been issued for Jefferson County, Texas, which borders Louisiana. (KPRC-TV)