Lake Charles mayor worries too many people ignoring evacuation orders

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E
By WWL

Directly in Hurricane Laura's crosshairs: Lake Charles, a city of nearly 80,000 people and a metro area of almost 200,000. In the 15 years since Hurricane Rita hit the region, the mayor of Lake Charles worries residents have forgotten what a severe storm can do.

While Mayor Nic Hunter says people should have left already, it's never too late as long as the storm is still on its way.

"We are trying to use every last minute we can while we still have time," he told WWL First News.

But once that window closes, it's not a storm anyone wants to try and ride out.

"We are planning for an absolutely catastrophic event," he said, with a storm surge of 20 feet that could penetrate all the way to the city. The National Hurricane Center calls it "unsurvivable" -- and the immediate aftermath "unlivable."