Hurricane Delta may cause heavy storm surge as it moves up the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall in the U.S. on Friday, meteorologists said. Though much of the U.S. Gulf Coast is under a hurricane or storm surge watch, Weather.com reports.
Delta could make landfall sometime Friday south of Morgan City, Louisiana, the Associated Press said.
The Category 2 hurricane was centered some 65 miles from Puerto Progreso, Mexico, The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. That’s just off the northern edge of the Yucatan peninsula. Delta’s winds reached 145 mph on Tuesday, the center said. That had dropped to 100 mph on Wednesday. But speeds were expected to increase before the storm hits the U.S. Gulf Coast.
A hurricane watch is in effect from High Island, Texas, to Grand Isle, Louisiana. A storm surge watch is also in effect from High Island, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida border, including Calcasieu Lake, Vermilion Bay, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne, and Mobile Bay, the site said. This watch means a dangerous, life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible within 48 hours.
Residents along the Gulf Coast are being told to make ready their storm plans and watch for any evacuation orders.
Hurricane Delta slams into Mexico
Hurricane Delta first slammed into the Cancun, Mexico area. It pulled down trees and power lines, cutting off power to much of the Yucatan peninsula, the Associated Press reported.
There were no reports of any deaths or injuries, said Carlos Joaquín González, the governor of the state of Quintana Roo.
“Fortunately, the most dangerous part of the hurricane has passed,” Joaquín González told the AP. Downed trees that had knocked out power lines and blocked roadways were the main problems, he said.
Delta came ashore in Mexico around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday with winds of 110 mph, the AP said. Hundreds of tourists had to take refuge in storm shelters. The storm knocked out power to about 266,000 customers.
Delta will be the record 10th tropical storm or hurricane to hit the U.S. in a year, Bloomberg said. The Atlantic has spawned 25 storms this year, the second most after 2005, when Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans.
Experts believe this storm will cause about $4 billion in losses to Mexico, Bloomberg said. Louisiana may face losses of up to $3 billion in damages.