Hurricane Laura Damages Lake Charles Airport, Destroys Radar


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.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. A general question from one who does not own an airplane. Reading this article I was surprised to read that aircraft were damaged. Why would owners not just fly the planes out of harms way for a day till the event passes? I assume most of them are working/flyable planes.

    Clearly you can’t move a house and having been a boat owner, you’d have to leave days in advance (sailboat), but hopping in a plane and taking even an hour flight perpendicular to the storm track should keep it out of harms way.

    Just seems odd.

    • Airplanes aren’t always flyable. Often times they are out of service for maintenance or other reasons. Or possibly the pilot is already evacuated (hey, the airplane is insured). Also, having lived in Houston myself during some brand-name storms, it isn’t always clear what direction to run. When Ike came to town, the storm was hundreds of miles across and it was wandering. We had no idea if we should relocate the airplane to El Paso or Pensacola. Relocating to the North wouldn’t have helped because that’s where the storm would go. And then once you evacuate, so is everybody else. You can’t find a hangar or a hotel where you evacuated to. Not disagreeing with you, just saying that the decision to bug out isn’t as simple as it might seem.