NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana residents confronting the menace of a new hurricane weeks after one battered their communities got stark warnings Thursday to brace for winds that could turn debris into missiles.
Forecasts showed Delta had strengthened back into a Category 3 hurricane as it bore down on the state carrying winds of up to 115 mph and the potential to deliver a storm surge of up to 11 feet when it arrives on Friday evening.
The projected path included the southwest area of Louisiana where Category 4 Hurricane Laura made landfall less than two months ago.
The mayor of Lake Charles, where thousands of residents remain without shelter following the earlier hurricane, told residents that even if their homes survived Laura, they shouldn’t assume that would be the case with Delta.
“This is not a bad dream. It’s not a test run. These are the cards that we have been dealt,” Nic Hunter said in a Facebook video. He added, “I know that we’ve been through a lot, and I know that we’re tired. But we have a job to do right now, and that job is to keep ourselves safe.”
At least four southwest Louisiana parishes that were hit hard by Laura in August were under mandatory evacuations as of midday Thursday. Parish and local governments all along the coast issued a patchwork of mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders, most focused on low-lying areas subject to flooding or on residents with special medical needs who might suffer in prolonged power outages.
Frankie Randazzo, 47, a co-owner of two restaurants in Lake Charles, said people in the city were extremely anxious ahead of the hurricane. During Laura, Randazzo watched pieces of one of his restaurants, Panorama Music House, fly past a meteorologist’s car on a Facebook Live video.
“There’s a lot of nervous people and a lot of stress going around,” Randazzo said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards reached out to residents ahead of Delta’s expected arrival, saying in text messages and a 30-second robocall they should “prepare now” and have emergency plans in place. Edwards said President Donald Trump approved his request to declare a federal emergency, which frees up federal resources.
The most recent forecast for Hurricane Delta has the storm making landfall “almost precisely” where Hurricane Laura struck — a region where homes and electrical infrastructure are still damaged, Edwards said in a radio interview.
This is the sixth time this year that people in Louisiana have had to get ready for an approaching hurricane. Residents lamented another round of evacuations and hurricane preparations amid the financial impact and worry of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Delta is the 25th named storm of this year’s unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season, the latest in a series of intensifying storms that scientists have attributed to global warming. It hit Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane just south of the resort city of Cancun early Wednesday with high winds and heavy rain. No deaths or injuries were reported.
As the storm churned northwest at 12 miles per hour on Thursday afternoon, the …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment