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Photos: Hurricane Laura pounds the Gulf Coast

  • A person walks through a building with its windows blown out in the downtown area of Lake Charles, La., after Hurricane Laura passed through. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • People stand next to a hotel that had parts of its roof blown off as Hurricane Laura passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana. The hurricane hit with powerful winds causing extensive damage to the city. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • A room that had its roof blown off is seen in a hotel after Hurricane Laura passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • An escalator is seen in a building that had its windows blown in the downtown area of Lake Charles, La. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • Kyana Myers looks into a room that had its roof blown off as Hurricane Laura passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • A Lake Charles police officer helps clear the streets in the downtown area after Hurricane Laura. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • A street is strewn with debris and downed power lines after Hurricane Laura passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • A Lake Charles police officer helps clear the streets in the downtown area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • A building with its windows blown out is seen in the downtown area of  Lake Charles, Louisiana. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • Flooding caused by Hurricane Laura on Thursday in Sabine Pass, Texas. Hurricane Laura came ashore bringing rain and high winds to the eastern part of the state. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
  • A building that was damaged overnight by Hurricane Laura stands in Lake Charles, La., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Stephen Jones via AP)
  • Down power lines stretch across a road in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura in Sabine Pass, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Flooding caused by Hurricane Laura on Thursday in Sabine Pass, Texas. Hurricane Laura came ashore bringing rain and high winds to the eastern part of the state. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
  • A tattered American flag blows in the wind in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura in Port Arthur, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Flooding caused by Hurricane Laura in Sabine Pass, Texas. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
  • A cemetery along Privateer Blvd. in Barataria, La. is inundated in water as water levels surge before Hurricane Laura on, Wednesday in Barataria, La. (Max Becherer/The Advocate via AP)

Hurricane Laura pounded the Gulf Coast for hours with ferocious wind, torrential rains and rising seawater as it roared ashore over southwestern Louisiana near the Texas border early Thursday, threatening the lives of people who didn’t evacuate.

Laura’s howling winds battered a tall building in Lake Charles, blowing out windows as glass and debris flew to the ground. Police spotted a floating casino that got loose and crunched against a bridge. But hours after landfall, the wind and rain were still blowing too hard to check for survivors.

“There are some people still in town and people are calling … but there ain’t no way to get to them,” Tony Guillory, president of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, said early Thursday morning over the phone as he hunkered down in a Lake Charles government building that was shaking from the storm.

Guillory said he hopes stranded people can be rescued later Thursday but fears that blocked roads, downed power lines and flooding could get in the way.

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