Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean is the digital news editor for New Orleans Public Radio. 
Before coming to New Orleans, she was the editor of Denverite, a digital news startup now under the Colorado Public Radio umbrella. Prior to that she was a copy editor and features writer at the Denver Post, and before that, a music reporter for the Colorado Daily. She graduated from Columbia University with a master's degree in journalism and from Northeastern University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Now that Hurricane Sally has moved eastward and threats from the storm have dramatically decreased in likelihood, officials in New Orleans are exhaling a bit.

Hurricane Sally continues to strengthen as it makes a slow track toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

New Orleans will remain in Phase 2 of its coronavirus reopening as the rest of the state moves to Phase 3 on Friday under Gov. John Bel Edwards' order.

Translation by Luis Rodrigálvarez

Una planta química en Westlake, La., que se incendió durante el paso del huracán Laura, continúa ardiendo el jueves por la tarde.

Updated at 9:26 p.m. ET

A chemical plant in Westlake, La., that caught fire during Hurricane Laura is still burning Thursday evening.

The facility, BioLab Inc., makes chlorine for swimming pools. Officials are unsure exactly when the fire started, but Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) Press Secretary Greg Langley said his agency was informed of the fire around 9 a.m. local time.

A chemical plant in Westlake, La., that caught fire during Hurricane Laura is still burning Thursday evening.

Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm along the western coast of Louisiana and upper coast of Texas overnight bringing storm surge, intense winds and widespread power outages to the area. 

We'll update here as Laura moves north Thursday.

Hurricane Laura, now an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm, approaches the western Louisiana and upper Texas coast and is expected to make landfall with devastating effect overnight.

We're reporting Wednesday's weather developments, preparations, evacuation efforts and impacts here.

You can read Thursday's coverage here.

In a Tuesday evening update, the City of New Orleans said it continues to monitor Hurricane Laura, still predicted to reach land as a Category 3 hurricane tomorrow.

Another 60 people were reported dead of COVID-19 across Louisiana on Wednesday — three times the daily average for July and the biggest increase since May 1. The state's coronavirus death toll is now 3,558.