Hurricane Laura races toward heart of U.S. oil refining industry

Hurricane Laura races toward heart of U.S. oil refining industryLaura intensified into a strong Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday as it raced over evacuated oil production platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and took aim at the energy industry’s refining hub along the Texas/Louisiana coast. Landfall is expected at about midnight (0500 GMT Thursday) and could push an “unsurvivable” 20-foot (6-m) wall of water against the coast south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center warned. The storm’s track and power resembles 2005’s Hurricane Rita, which caused more than $18 billion in damages and killed more than 120 people, many during a hurried Texas evacuation.