As powerful Hurricane Laura bore down on the U.S. Gulf Coast, police in south Texas were forced to close the High Island Bridge on the Bolivar Peninsula to make way for some evacuees: a herd of about 1,100 cattle.
Ranchers on horseback and in pickup trucks Wednesday moved the livestock to a location near the town of Winnie, Texas, about 84 kilometers north of Galveston.
Local media report the cattle came from the White Ranch on the peninsula. The ranchers say the cattle are their livelihood and cannot afford to lose them to a storm surge.
As of late Wednesday night, Laura was spotted about 120 kilometers south of Lake Charles, Louisiana carrying maximum sustained winds of 240 kilometers an hour, making it a Category 4 storm on the five-level scale that measures a hurricane’s potential destructiveness.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet that Laura was a very dangerous and rapidly intensifying hurricane. He said his administration remains fully engaged with state and local emergency managers to continue preparing and assisting what he called “the great people” of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. He urged residents to “listen to local officials.”
More than 500,000 coastal residents of Texas and Louisiana have been ordered to evacuate. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has deployed the National Guard to pick up families who are unable to leave on their own.