Story at a glance
- Hurricane Delta is poised to be deadly as a Category 2 hurricane.
- It will impact the coastal region battered by Hurricane Laura in August.
In the latest instance of unusually severe weather patterns hitting the U.S. in 2020, Hurricane Delta, the latest tropical disturbance to take aim at the Gulf of Mexico, has scaled back to a Category 2 storm, but still poses a threat to residents in the area.
Delta, which was earlier classified as a treacherous Category 4 storm, has since been reevaluated as a Category 2, with maximum sustained winds of about 105 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The projected path of the hurricane is anticipated to hit the Gulf Coast of Louisiana on Friday, bringing its strongest winds and dangerous storm surges.
Hurricane #Delta has strengthened back to a category 2 hurricane. Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings are in effect for portions of the northern Gulf coast. Go to https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb and https://t.co/SiZo8ozBbn for more information. pic.twitter.com/pmVTIWOJIZ— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 8, 2020
“Life-threatening storm surge is expected near and east of where Delta makes landfall on Friday, and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect from High Island, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi,” NHC officials wrote. Surge warnings for surrounding areas, like Port O’Connor, Texas, and Mobile Bay, Ala., are also in effect.
By Friday afternoon and evening, powerful winds are expected to impact the area from High Island, Texas, to Morgan City, La. Significant flash flooding and more minor river flooding will be likely in parts of Louisiana on Friday and Saturday as Delta gradually makes its way northeast.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers forecasts slightly stronger conditions still within Category 2 characteristics, predicting Delta will bring winds closer to 110 miles per hour and storm surges as high as 11 feet.
These Southern communities are still reeling from the record-breaking Hurricane Laura, which made landfall as a Category 4. Myers notes that Delta is expected to hit less than 25 miles away from Laura’s point of landfall.
“On top of the damage you already have, that just exacerbates the damage because things are already loose, things are still going to be flying around,” Myers said.
Ahead of Delta’s arrival, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency on Oct. 6, which will deploy additional emergency resources to impacted communities. It will remain in effect until Nov. 4.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had forecasted an overly active hurricane season in the Atlantic, which will come to an end toward late November.
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