Anyone watching the progress of Hurricane Laura this week would have noticed that the Lake Charles NWS doppler weather radar suddenly went offline. That’s because the storm’s strong gusts destroyed the system’s sensor and antenna array, leaving a twisted stalk in place but little else. Lake Charles is immediately north of Cameron, Louisiana, where Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Initial reports from the NWS had gusts of 138 MPH at Lake Charles.
That was enough to cause widespread devastation at Lake Charles Airport, which is about 25 miles north of Cameron. The NWS office and radar are at the airport. Video posted by Live Storms Media showed the damaged antenna along with shredded hangars and aircraft. One of the hangars appeared to contain a collection of vintage aircraft. Although the National Hurricane Center forecasted storm surge as far inland as 50 miles, the flooding proved less damaging than the high winds.