Hurricane Laura pounded the Gulf Coast with ferocious wind and torrential rain as the Category 4 storm roared ashore Thursday in Louisiana near the Texas border. In Cameron Parish, homes were damaged, trees uprooted and power lines downed. (Aug. 27)

AP Domestic

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – By now, you might know about the Waffle House Index, a tool coined by then-FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate after he noticed two Waffle House locations in Joplin, Missouri, stayed open through a tornado that caused $2.8 billion worth of damage and killed 158 people in the area.

Waffle House has a reputation for staying open through even the most intense weather disasters, so when you see one with the lights off and a “closed” sign on the door, things are serious. 

And that’s the case now after Hurricane Laura roared through the Texas and Louisiana coasts, forcing the chain to close 18 locations as of Thursday morning.

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Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, at 1 a.m. local time Thursday as a powerful Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. Buildings were ripped apart, severing power lines and clogging streets with debris.

More than 650,000 people along the Texas and Louisiana border were without power as of Thursday morning and a 14-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on her Leesville, Louisiana, home. 

The storm has been losing strength, though high water levels continue along portions of the Gulf Coast.


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Here’s more information on the Waffle House closures:

What Waffle House locations are closed?

So far, Hurricane Laura has caused 18 locations in Texas and Louisiana to close: 11 in the Beaumont, Texas, area; six in the Lake Charles and Sulphur, Louisiana, area; and one in Jennings, Louisiana.

“Our goal is to reopen our closed stores as quickly as possible,” a representative from Waffle House said in an email.

The Cajun Navy: Citizen-led rescue group ready to help as Hurricane Laura blitzes Gulf Coast

Plenty of people on the ground in Texas and Louisiana documented the arrival of Hurricane Laura, including tweets about their local Waffle House locations being open or closed.

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