An Irish student who left his home in Louisiana before the arrival of Hurricane Laura said the Category 4 storm has been "absolutely devastating."

Hurricane Laura made landfall in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms to hit the state, with forecasters warning it could push a massive wall of water 65km inland from the sea. 

Speaking to RTÉ's Drivetime, Brian Flanagan said: "We didn't think it was going to be this bad. We packed a case thinking it is a Category 2, there is nothing to worry about."

Mr Flanagan and his wife Emma left Lake Charles, Louisiana on Tuesday.

He said: "It was enough to make us leave, but not enough for us to worry. It got worse and worse, upgraded to Category 4."

Mr Flanagan explained that he and Emma are newly married, and they left most of their wedding presents behind.

He said: "We left most of our stuff behind, including one of our cars, thinking it was going to be fine but it wasn't.

"Some in our area appear to be fine, but one block over the houses have been razed to the ground, so we just don't know."

Brian and Emma hope to return to their home in the next 24 hours, and they have been told that their house appears to be fine.

He said: "My wife's wedding dress was left behind; we're pretty upset about that. 

"All our new wedding presents all got left behind. We've gotten word that our house is in one piece.

"But this hurricane picked and chose where it decided to destroy." 

Mr Flanagan added: "Some are fine, but one block over houses have been razed to the ground."

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