SETH BORENSTEIN, MELINDA DESLATTE and JANET McCONNAUGHEY
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Hurricane Laura was a monster storm that could have, even should have, wreaked much more destruction than it did, except for a few lucky breaks and some smart thinking by Gulf Coast residents, experts say.
Just before striking Louisiana, Laura wobbled. It wasn't much, maybe 15 miles (24 kilometers) for a Category 4 storm that was nearly the width of two states. But it was enough to move the worst of the storm surge east of Lake Charles and into a far less populated area.
And even before that, Laura threaded a needle between well-populated New Orleans, Port Arthur and Houston and came ashore in Cameron Parish, which is the second least-populated county along the coast. The population of