Hurricane Delta landed around 6pm. CT on Friday near Creole, La., With heavy rain and strong winds in a region already battered by more hurricanes this year.
Delta was off the coast of Louisiana when it was downgraded by a Category 3 storm Friday morning with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph to a Category 2 sustained winds of 115 mph, according to the most recent update from the National Hurricane Center ( NHC).
Just over an hour after landing, the storm weakened to category 1 as it continued to move inland.
Delta had sustained winds close to 100 mph when it landed as a life-threatening storm. As of 10:30 pm CT, power has been cut off in more than 409,000 homes in Louisiana, according to poweroutage.us.
The winds were so strong that the tiles on top of the eight-room boutique L̵
“I probably don’t have a pebble on top of this hotel anymore,” owner Roberta Palermo told The Associated Press.
He said the electricity was out and, across the street, he could see pieces of metal sticking out of the roof of a 100-year-old building. Unprotected garbage cans flew through the streets.
In Watson, Louisiana, a tree fell on a man and briefly pinned him near his home, WAFB-TV reported. Eventually he was rescued by the authorities.
In Galveston, Texas, nearly 100 miles west of where Delta landed, two homes under construction were demolished along with trees and signs. A spokesperson for a construction company told the Galveston Daily News that the houses were in the early stages of framing.
The worst of the storm was on land between Lake Charles and Lafayette when Delta’s eyes moved inland, The Weather Channel reported.
“It’s devastating and thrilling for the citizenry,” Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said as he prepared to weather the storm in downtown Lake Charles.
Damaged roofs and debris like trees and mattresses from Hurricane Laura several weeks ago were still lined up in some streets. Hunter said tarps were seen flying off homes as the winds picked up.
Hours earlier, Delta landed along the Yucatan Peninsula and then strengthened as it crossed the Gulf.
Fox News’s Brandon Noriega predicted the storm would land along Louisiana just east of Cameron, where Laura landed in August.
“Delta is the fastest storm to escalate from tropical depression to a Category 4 storm in modern records,” said Michael Ventrice, a meteorological scientist for The Weather Company. The Delta strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane more than 36 hours earlier in the week, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
The storm is expected to weaken as it crosses the state until Saturday morning, when it will most likely be downgraded to a tropical storm. Those weaker speeds can still cause significant damage to a region that has already experienced several previous storm systems.
“The fact that it is weakening shouldn’t cause anyone to lose focus or lose vigilance, because this is still a very severe storm,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said at a press conference Friday as Delta appeared to be losing. force before landing.
Laura struck the same region six weeks ago, devastating parts of Texas, Louisiana and Florida with flooding and wind damage.
Rapid changes in the storm’s strength made it difficult for states to prepare before landing as preparations were “rushed” before the weekend, the NHC tweeted.
LAKE CHARLES BRACES FOR HURRICANE DELTA AS THE MAYOR OF AREA SAYS NOT “IT WILL BE A SAFE PLACE THIS WEEKEND”
Some tornadoes will also be possible, especially east of where the center of the system arrives. The biggest tornado threat is in the southern parts of Louisiana and Mississippi starting late Wednesday night.
LIVE UPDATES: HURRICANE DELTA PREPARED TO FALL, SOURCE OF “LIFE THREATENING” STORM FORECAST
Flash, urban, and small-water flooding is possible for far east Texas, Louisiana, southern Arkansas, and western Mississippi.
Rainstorm totals between 5 and 10 inches will spread into the lower Mississippi River and Tennessee River valleys through Saturday.
Meteorologists said the storm could reach 11 feet along the Louisiana coast. Hours before landing, the National Hurricane Center reported 4.5 feet of swell on the coast east of Cameron.
As of 7:00 CT on Friday, Delta had caused a storm surge along the Gulf Coast, with waters rising 7 to 11 feet in normally dry areas.
In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency earlier this week and said resources were propped up to assist residents. The state should feel the impact of Delta by Saturday.
The storm is the tenth record-breaking storm to hit the United States this year. The previous high was nine storms in 1916, USA Today reported.
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The storm is a fourth record for Louisiana. Delta is the third major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.