TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Delta made landfall along the coast of Louisiana Friday evening after hours of deteriorating conditions along the Gulf Coast.
Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana around 7 p.m. ET. The National Hurricane Center said it was a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph maximum sustained winds at the time.
Delta had been a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph Friday morning, but the system weakened consistently throughout the day.
Now that it has made landfall in the United States, Delta is expected to weaken rapidly. Delta made its first landfall earlier this week along the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The storm is forecast to move across central and northeastern Louisiana into Saturday morning. It’s then expected to move across northern Mississippi into the Tennessee Valley.
The NHC warned that life-threatening storm surge is expected near and east of where Delta makes landfall. The highest inundation is forecast to reach 7 to 11 feet and is expected somewhere along the coast between Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and Morgan City, Louisiana.
According to the NHC, a National Weather Service water level gauge reported storm surge inundation of over 8 feet around 7 p.m. ET at the Canal Locks in Louisiana.
“Life-threatening storm surge is occurring and will continue near and east of where Delta makes landfall this evening,” forecasters said.
Hurricane-force winds are also expected in areas under a hurricane warning. The NHC said those winds will also spread inland across parts of southern Louisiana near Delta’s center.
Heavy rainfall is forecast to cause significant flash flooding and minor to major river flooding in parts of Louisiana on Friday and Saturday. The NHC said additional flooding is expected across parts of the central Gulf Coast and into the Lower Mississippi Valley.
Storm Surge Warning in effect for:
- High Island, Texas to the Mouth of the Pearl River including Calcasieu Lake, Vermilion Bay and Lake Borgne
Hurricane Warning in effect for:
- High Island, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana
Tropical Storm Warning in effect for:
- West of High Island to Sargent, Texas
- East of Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River including New Orleans
- Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
Louisiana is still recovering from Hurricane Laura, which ravaged the southwestern region as it roared ashore as a Category 4 storm in August. More than 6,600 Laura evacuees remain in hotels around the state, mainly in New Orleans, because their homes are too heavily damaged to return.
TRACKING THE TROPICS:
- Tracking the Tropics: Potential tropical cyclone to dump heavy rain on parts of Gulf Coast
- Tracking the Tropics: Tropical storm warning issued for part of Gulf Coast ahead of potential tropical cyclone
- Tracking the Tropics: Claudette expected to form in southern Gulf, will bring heavy rain to parts of Gulf Coast
- Tracking the Tropics: Development in southern Gulf likely by end of week
- Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Storm Bill strengthens in the Atlantic, but no threat to land; 2 other disturbances being monitored