Story at a glance
- Zeta strengthened from a tropical storm to a hurricane Monday afternoon.
- Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) urged all Louisianans to monitor the storm over the next few days.
- If Zeta reaches the state at or near hurricane strength it will set the record for most named storms in Louisiana in a single season with five.
As Louisiana is still recovering from hurricanes Laura and Delta, residents are now preparing for Hurricane Zeta to move through the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall in the state Wednesday.
The storm strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane on Monday afternoon and is expected to bring dangerous storm surge to parts of the northern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico Monday night and early Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is forecast to then make landfall in southeast Louisiana by Wednesday.
“Zeta is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and there is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall impacts from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle,” the National Weather Service said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) urged all Louisianans to monitor the storm over the next few days.
“It is unfortunate we face another tropical threat this late in a very active season. We must roll up our sleeves, like we always do, and prepare for a potential impact to Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement Sunday.
“We will once again find solutions for this potential threat while working to help the other areas of the state impacted by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. If Tropical Storm Zeta does become a serious threat, we stand ready to ramp up our actions as a state to meet the needs of our people and communities,” he said.
The 2020 hurricane season has broken records and could be record-setting for Louisiana.
If Zeta reaches the state at or near hurricane strength it will set the record for most named storms in Louisiana in a single season. It would be the fifth named storm, followed by Cristobal, Laura, Marco and Delta.
The potential threat comes after Category 4 Hurricane Laura struck in August this year as the strongest storm to hit Louisiana since 1856. The storm destroyed homes and structures and killed at least 25 people.
More than 8,000 evacuees were still in shelters six weeks later when Delta hit the state. That storm killed at least four people.
Zeta would be the 11th storm to make landfall in the U.S. this year.
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