The National Hurricane Center reports the storm made landfall at 1 a.m. CDT on Thursday near Cameron, a 400-person community about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of the Texas border. It had maximum sustained winds of 150mph (240 kph), making it the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. so far this year.
Forecasters warned the strong winds could rip apart buildings, level trees and toss vehicles like toys.
Video and photos on social media showed torrents of rain flying sideways past street lights in Lake Charles, and streets covered with water closer to the coast. A sudden storm surge knocked over cameras meant to capture the hurricane’s effects.
Forecasters also issued a string of tornado warnings as the storm pushed on to land, but there were no immediate reports of damage. More than 100,000 homes and businesses were without power in Texas and Louisiana.