Laura strengthened to a hurricane on Tuesday, threatening to make a direct hit on Houston later this week... and prompting evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands of people living on the Gulf Coast.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott:
"If you are subject to one of these evacuation orders. You need to be doing all you can to make sure that you take the action that needs to be taken to protect your life. Those who stay behind may be caught in a situation where rescue teams may be challenged and being able to rescue from a situation that could cause you to lose your life."
Laura is projected to make landfall as a possible Category 3 hurricane in the Texas-Louisiana border region late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning according to the National Hurricane Center.
Laura skirted the southern coast of Cuba on Monday but did not cause as much damage as it did in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where it killed at least 10 people.
This storm comes on the heels of Tropical Storm Marco, which weakened sooner than expected and made landfall on Monday in Louisiana before dissipating.
One major source of concern - the energy industry which is facing its biggest threat in 15 years.
When Laura makes landfall, it could hit an area that accounts for more than 45% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity and 17% of oil production, according to the Energy Information Administration.
To prepare - companies have already cut crude production and halted oil refining at plants along the Texas/Louisiana coast.