Story at a glance
- Zeta made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Cocodrie, La., and quickly moved across the New Orleans area into neighboring Mississippi Wednesday.
- The storm destroyed buildings, flooded streets and knocked down power lines and trees in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
- At least 3 people were killed and more than 2.5 million customers left without power.
At least three people are dead and more than 2.5 million homes and businesses across the Southeast are without power after Hurricane Zeta made landfall in Louisiana Wednesday.
Zeta made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Cocodrie, La., and quickly moved across the New Orleans area into neighboring Mississippi, unleashing wind gusts of more than 100 mph and dangerous storm surge on communities along the northern Gulf Coast before weakening to a tropical storm.
Peak winds from Zeta were reported at 112 miles-per-hour in Bayou Bienvenue, La., according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm destroyed buildings, flooded streets and knocked down power lines and trees in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, while heavy rain pounded the Carolinas and Tennessee.
A 55-year-old man in Louisiana died after he was electrocuted by downed power lines Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. In Mississippi, an Alabama man who was filming the hurricane come ashore in Biloxi drowned at a marina, according to The Sun Herald, while a man was killed in Cherokee County, Ga., when a tree fell onto a mobile home, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“Zeta has left hazards like flooded roads, downed power lines and displaced wildlife in our communities that no one should take lightly,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted Thursday morning. “Everyone needs to remain vigilant, continue to listen to local officials and be safe.”
More than 2.5 million customers were without power across five states. In Georgia, more than 851,000 customers had no electricity while both Alabama and Louisiana had about 500,000 without power. North Carolina had more than 355,000 without electricity while Oklahoma had more than 309,000, according to Poweroutage.us.
The tropical storm is now moving northeastward across the Carolinas and is slamming the mid-Atlantic with gusty winds and heavy rain. Zeta is expected to pass through Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland on Thursday before heading back out into the Atlantic Ocean.
“Strong, damaging wind gusts, which could cause tree damage and power outages, will continue to spread eastward across portions of the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia through this afternoon due to Zeta’s fast forward speed,” The National Hurricane Center said Thursday.
Zeta is the fifth named storm to make landfall in Louisiana this season, the most the state’s ever recorded in a single year.
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